Our Responsibility

A Message from Rabbi Bayar about the Election

The 20th century scholar and theologian David Hartman taught that “a value is only a value when it is tested.” What we have witnessed these past months has been an electoral process that has opened our eyes to the serious divisions in our United States.

Our eyes have been opened. I believe that we have been given an opportunity to help our country heal its wounds as long as we remain hopeful and refuse to descend into anger and fear. While there is cause for many to be concerned, there is also cause for all of us to become involved.

These are “our” United States. If we truly believe in the values which form the foundation of our democracy, this is the time to dedicate ourselves to its strengths and fight against its weaknesses. This is the time to work together to fulfill the “United” of our “States.”

Hilary Clinton conceded the election with these words:

Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet. And breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.

Donald Trump accepted the result with these words:

Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.

It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.

As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.

In the eyes of both candidates, it is now our responsibility to participate in the political process to insure that their words accurately express their values.

In this way we can go from strength to strength.


Steven Bayar, Rabbi