For governments we vote, but in G-d we trust

The Founding Fathers wanted  America to be a unified nation. They realized that a pressure cooker is not what is needed, but a melting pot.

Rabbi Eli Hecht ,

Rabbi Eli Hecht
Rabbi Eli Hecht

Who would believe that the beloved country in which we live, the United States of America, has become so divided. World leaders are calling the country the Divided States of America.

But rhe citizens of this great country printed the message ‘In G-d We Trust’ on our currency. And E Pluribus Unum ‘out of many one’. The America we love was founded on the principles of justice, freedom, tolerance, generosity and hard work.

How sad it is when we hear that 25,000 men of the National Guard are busy providing protection for elected officials. Tens of thousands of uniformed officers from the police department and security forces are busy protecting the capital. I believe that we have nothing to fear except fear itself, but it seems that it means fear of our own American Citizens, those who rampaged our cities all summer and those who attacked the Capitol Building.

This reminds me of a story told to me by one of our professors in school which has a very profound lesson:

In the zoo there are many animals - elephants, tigers, lions and donkeys. Once, the elephant and the donkey were walking and chanced upon a fresh loaf of bread that had fallen off of the baker’s wagon. Both the elephant and the donkey grabbed the bread and claimed that they were the owners of the bread.

The lion, the king of the animals, was asked to adjudicate the matter. The lion said to cut the bread in half and each would receive half of a loaf. The lion proceeded to cut the loaf in half but while doing so he made one part of the loaf bigger than the other. The donkey claimed that the larger part belonged to him, while the elephant claimed that it belonged to him. The lion wanted to be fair and make sure both parties received an equal share of the bread. So the lion cut the larger piece and ate the extra piece that was cut off.

Again one of the pieces was larger than the other. Needless to say the lion suggested again that they cut the bread in half, again making one piece bigger than the other. Again the lion ate the extra piece.

And so the story went until there was nothing left of the bread.

The idea is clear. The donkey is the Democratic Party. The Elephant is the Republican Party. The lion is democracy and insists that we keep the values of equality. However, "out of many" can be interpreted as one takes from the many. In the name of democracy we have cut our values and America is suffering. Our biggest fear is what will happen in the next few weeks.

The founding fathers wanted America to be an example for mankind and to ensure freedom and tolerance. They wanted to build a unified nation. They realized that a pressure cooker is not what is needed, but a melting pot. The country needs to become a community of people who work towards the betterment of humankind. During the next few days we will see if democracy is keeping up with the wishes of the founding fathers of our great country.

Let us collectively pray that no harm befalls our citizens and elected representatives and that the upcoming transition take place in a calm and successful fashion.

For government we vote but In G-d we trust.

Rav Eli Hecht is Director and Founder of Chabad of South Bay, Lomita California, former President Rabbinical Council of California, and Vice President of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.