This is the Day: my Ode to Bernie Sanders

Yes, I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this for a while. A year ago, it was, oh, right around the Jewish new year.

My husband said, I really like this guy Bernie Sanders, he’s running for president. I said, who’s that? Sounds like a Jewish name, is he Jewish? I looked him up, oh wow, he’s Jewish, and from Brooklyn, New York, and no he’s not religious, but he has these democratic socialist views that we need health care for everyone, free college tuition. Interesting.

It was Rosh Hashanah, yeh the Jewish new year. I wanted to hear more and this guy was spending this holy Jewish holiday campaigning. I could hear my parents saying, can’t he take off a day, what kind of Jew is this!

Actually, he was speaking at a very strange place for a radical secular Jewish progressive: an evangelical Christian college, Liberty University. I had put my kids to bed, and had no plans to do any davening (praying) myself, so I turn on the livestream.

The first thing I hear him saying is, we may not agree on everything, (referring to abortion) but I think we can agree that Jesus said and what all major religions have said is we need to take care of those who are suffering. We have a moral responsibility, yes he’s talking about MORALITY!, to seek justice. Christian, Jewish, humanist, at the base of our value system, is that we are responsible for one another, that the great injustices, such as rising income inequality and racism, hurts all of us.

Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh la Zeh, (all Israel is responsible for one another). Bernie is not saying Israel, but he is speaking my values, my truth. I feel this spiritual glow, watching this avowedly secular Jew, speak to this devout Christian community, as religious Jews around the world pray Ha Yom, This is the Day … to seek the good … for all …  this sweet New Year.

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