With the election season in full swing, and voter fever heating up, it got me thinking. What lesson can we learn from it all? What's it got to do with me?
The tendency of candidates on the campaign trail is to get close and personal with potential voters. You can see them talking with simple folks, and walking into small shops. Just this morning, Romney stopped in at a Pennsylvania convenient store, and Obama was mingling at the Iowa State Fair.
Once the president is elected, however, he spends most of his time at 1600 Pennsylvania, and is not seen too often in local shops etc...
In exactly one month is the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana). Rosh Hashana is the time when we "elect G-d as our King." We crown Him as Master of the Universe for the upcoming year. The last month on the Hebrew calendar is called Elul. The month of Elul, and the countdown to Rosh Hashana has begun today.
In the mystical teachings on the Torah, a parable for this month is related. The month of Elul (right before the Jewish New Year) is likened to a time when the "King is in the field." Throughout the year, the king is found in his palace, sitting on his thrown, in his innermost chambers. It can take months to secure a private audience with the king. Even when you are granted a meeting with him, the guards do a complete backround check and conduct thorough interrogations to see if you are indeed worthy to meet with the king. Then you are finally privy to a few moments to ask your request in front of the king. But, then, there are rare occasions when the king leaves his palace, takes a stroll through the city streets, and walks in the fields. At that time, anyone can come and speak with him. The king is greeting all those that come to see him, waving and smiling to everyone. At those special occurrences, there is no need to come dressed up in your best attire. The king just wants to spend time with his people, just the way they are.
It is a time to prepare for the New Year. It is an auspicious time, when the Almighty, our King, is smiling and greeting everyone on His campaign trail. We have the opportunity to let Him know how we feel, and what new "policies" we would like to see. Most importantly, we ask Him to grant us a healthy, successful New Year. The King is walking through the field, so, let's make the most of it!