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We are voting again in Israel. This is only the fourth election for this election. If we’re lucky, there’ll be another election for this election.
In Israel we vote for parties who then decide if they want to join forces. They need to get 61 of 120 Members of Knesset to agree to form a government. Unfortunately, the only thing that these Members of Knesset will agree on is that we are probably going to have another election.
Here are some of the reasons why we Israelis vote a lot and love it:
We Love the Word “Coalition”
It sounds sophisticated.
We like Getting Text Messages from Politicians
Everybody likes getting texts. It makes us feel wanted. We don’t know these people, but it’s exciting to hear that beep and see that Bibi’s getting in touch with me again. He wants me to vote for him. He’s very needy, always texting me. I would block him, but I feel like we are bonding.
These texts are more exciting than the stuff I get from my friends. I just got one that said it’s a mitzvah to vote. My friends aren’t creating new Jewish laws. Only politicians can do that.
We Enjoy That Blue Memory Game Set
In order to vote we have to pick out the white cards that signify our party of choice from the blue case and put them in a white envelope and then into a blue box. We love this because it’s very Zionistic.
It’s also a fun game to try and find the correct letters of your party. They make it even more exciting by giving you letters to choose from that have nothing to do with the name of the party. It’s fun figuring out how a letter like “z” represents the Likud party.
We Need a Day Off
This is the country’s way of finally giving us a Sunday. For those who are unaware, Sunday is a regular work day in Israel and some Israelis (me) complain about this mercilessly. Israel’s way of a giving us a day off every five or six months is to let us vote. What are we voting for? Sundays.
Voting is a Holiday
It’s a festival. We love the joyous feeling. Every voting day people are nice. They say “shalom.” They give you stickers. They smile at you. I would vote every day if that meant that the guy working the bodega didn’t look angry when I went to pick up milk.
Who doesn’t love stickers?! You get a smiley with the name of the party with the politicians you hate. You get to walk around and wear the sticker and people say the Israeli adage kol hakavod (“all the honor) because they think you gave blood.
You know what I would love? Scratch and sniff stickers. Every party would have its own scent. Election Day would smell like a trip to the department store.
The Country is Accomplishing Stuff
This is actually the Israeli Peoples’ secret plan to keep the politicians from being involved in running our country. The government is finally doing something. When the government is not being run by people, they get stuff done. The garbage is being picked up. Construction around the country is at an all-time high. Another company with the name Maccabi was started. That’s how I judge progress in Israel, when another agency acquires the name “Maccabi.”
Once politicians form a Knesset, it’s over. They get their committees going. That’s how you halt progress, with committees. That’s how you end something good, you meet about it. Just ask your shul’s ritual committee.
We Believe Every Party Should Have a Chance to Win
We embrace the millennial ideology. Everybody’s a winner. The first time it was Blue and White. Last time it was Likud. We should get Kadima in there and give them another chance to be winners.
People Change Their Minds
Can you imagine if you voted once and that was it? I can’t. That would mean that my decision was final. I can’t take that pressure. It’s the same reason I can’t walk into an ice cream parlor. Too much pressure. There are too many choices. If I take the Butter Nut Supreme and it’s not a tasting spoon, I’m stuck with it. I don’t want to be stuck with my decisions.
Politicians change their minds too. They were representing the Russian immigrants. Now it’s about lowering taxes. Then it was fudge brownie ice cream. Now they must vote on the comfortable Knesset seats. People lose their minds to get those things. They’re very plush.
Parties Have to Negotiate
Have you ever been to the shuk? Have you ever negotiated in the Middle East? Negotiations for a darbuka hand drum can take a good half hour. That costs anywhere from fifteen dollars to five hundred dollars, depending on how much time you have to negotiate. Now imagine you are negotiating for the soul of Israel or at least a much larger darbuka.
These parties have to now join together on foreign policy and make decisions on domestic rules such as if Maccabi should be the name for everything in Israel. We don’t take this lightly.
We Like Second Chances
If second chances are good, shouldn’t third and fourth chances be better? Too many people make mistakes when voting the first time. They’re ill informed. Now, we get to vote again and again and make a mistake this time too, just a different mistake.
By the Time I Vote Again I Might Know What is Going On
I don’t know the difference between Likud and New Right or Labor and Kadima anymore. Truth: I just go into the booth and pick a white card with a letter on it. I have no idea what it means. It’s a Hebrew “Reish” and it represents “green.” There’s a Hebrew “Pei” and “Lamed” and that is the Israel is our Home Party. I really don’t know. I pick a different one each time. It looks like the memory game. I was never good at that game. And I was never good at Hebrew. I just hope my vote does not make a difference.
If anybody is giving out scratch and sniffs, representing Sundays and decent deals on darbukas, I am voting for them.
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I was going to do Kaparos before Yom Kippur, but I chickened out.
You get it? Kaparos is the tradition of placing your sins on something else, the day before Yom Kippur, traditionally a chicken, and waiving it. He chickened out of the chicken. He might've done it with money in the end. But that would still be without a chicken.
Designated stroller parking area. Something every shul needs, so I can get through the entrance on Yom Kippur... Truth is they should have stroller parking all the time. The entrance is always blocked.
Problem: Merv and Bernie will end up parking there. They already take the disabled parking spots and walk just fine. When it comes to parking, every member of our congregation is disabled.
Side Note: Figured out why so many kids come to shul on Yom Kippur. Because they get to eat in shul on Yom Kippur.