HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein answered questions about voting in a video published on Motzei Shabbos by the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party.
The campaign representatives began by saying: “After this difficult year of dealing with the coronavirus, many people feel that the Chareidi representatives weren’t there for them.”
HaRav Edelstein: “Voting for Gimmel is a declaration, Hashem Hu HaElokim, Moshe Emes V’Toraso Emes. Not voting is saying that you’re unconcerned about making a Kiddush Hashem, you’re not sharing in making a Kiddush Hashem. They’re being oseik in Kiddush Hashem, and you’re running away from it.”
“If you don’t vote Gimmel, you’re preventing a Kiddush Hashem. You’re declaring: “I’m not a Chareidi.”
The campaign representatives continued along the same vein, saying that since Gimmel represents all Chareidim, a huge community with many different streams, some feel that the UTJ MKs weren’t there for them when they needed them, such as Chareidim who had difficulty finding schools to accept their children.
HaRav Edelstein: “What are they gaining by not voting? In some instances, they are correct and [the MKs] need to correct this. But the disappointment is not an adequate reason not to vote.”
“Some say that they’ll vote for a party that’s religious but not Chareidi.” (A reference to Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionist party.]
HaRav Edelstein: “It’s not Chareidi, it’s not Gimmel. [The party] is not subordinate to Daas Torah, to the Gedolei HaDor.”
“There are those who sit at home instead of voting, saying it’s better for them to refrain from voting.”
HaRav Edelstein: Who’s their Rebbe? Who’s their Rav? [In other words, are they refraining from voting due to their own opinions or did they ask Daas Torah whether this is the correct thing to do.]
“We see that UTJ always supports the right-wing candidate. Maybe it’s worthwhile to check if there are other options on the left?”
HaRav Edelstein: “One’s safek and one’s vadai. The other parties are ‘lo shelanu’ – they’re against us. The left’s goal is to oppose us, wipe out religion, they’re against Chareidim. We can’t give them a hechsher.”
“What mitzvah am I fulfilling when I vote?”
HaRav Edelstein: “Mekadeish Sheim Shamayim. Moshe Emes V’Toraso Emes. I declare that ‘Moshe Emes V’Toraso Emes.’ Hashem Hu HaElokim – this obligates me.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)