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Weather or Not to Vote

by Rabbi Rami ShapiroOctober 29, 2012

I just spoke with my dad in western Massachusetts. He and my mom are praying that hurricane Sandy doesn't cause too much damage or take any lives. My dad isn't what I could call a religious man—I'm not sure he believes in the efficacy of prayer— but he is an observant Jew who attends morning minyan, so praying does comes naturally to him.

While less religious and observant than my parents, I add my prayers to theirs. And I add one more: that Sandy won't keep them and millions of other voters from voting. My dad (whose first name is Archie and whose last name could very well be Bunker) voted for Obama last year and plans to do the same this year. He likes the President, and doesn't trust Mitt Romney. Did he vote for Romney for Governor of Massachusetts? Let's just say that voting Democrat was new for him.

But this post isn't about my dad's politics but about God's preferences. If, as so many people believe, God is in charge of the universe, Sandy must be part of God's plan. God's very own October Surprise. But did he send Sandy to help Romney or Obama?

When God sent hurricane Katrina slamming into New Orleans it was, so we were told, to punish the city for its liberal stance toward the LGBQ community. The fact that Katrina missed the Gay part of town not withstanding, it is clear that God uses the weather to influence our lives. So who is God trying to help with Sandy? As a devout climatheologian, how am I to read God's weather report?

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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This entry is tagged with:
Hurricane SandyWeatherPoliticsRabbi Rami

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