The Big Orange Shofar by Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

For many Jews, the choice is obvious. Trump’s use of xenophobic language about Latinos plays to white America’s basest instincts. Hisrecord of slurs against women he finds unattractive is shameful. He all but bragged at the first Presidential debate about his record of shady business ethics. His proposals for a “shutdown” of immigration from Muslim nations reminds us of the religious bigotry that has plagued Jewish communities over the centuries. And there is, of course, the stereotypical Jew-hatred Trump himself shared in a room of Jews, during a meeting with the Republican Jewish Coalition, in which he referred to Jews as deal “negotiators” and claimed we would not support him “because I don’t want your money.”

For Jews, of course, this isn’t just election time. It’s also the Jewish month of Elul, leading up to the Yamim Noraim, the awesome days in which we are invited to confront our own failings and shortcomings. A key part of that process is the daily sounding of the shofar. The cry of the shofar is designed to wake us up from our ethical slumber, an alarm clock of the conscience.

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