We mentioned Rabbi Sam Gordon‘s involvement with the “Rabbis for Obama” group in a recent post. Here is an adaptation of a sermon he gave last summer in which he brings together the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness with the 40 years between the death of Robert F. Kennedy and the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate:
Obama’s nomination was, for some people, the end of the 40 years in the desert and wilderness. This is not an endorsement. It is a commentary on a remarkable moment in history. Something extraordinary happened in that Minnesota arena. And it was difficult not to think of Robert F. Kennedy 40 years before.
Despite that, Gordon stresses he will not endorse a candidate from his pulpit:
Let me make it clear. I will say this over and over again between now and November. Some will not hear it, and others will think they hear me say things I will not say. But I will not now or ever endorse a candidate from the pulpit. I will never write congregants a letter or use my newsletter column to promote a candidate for any office. I will, however, urge all of you to vote and be involved. I will urge all of you to judge the candidates on their records and statements and not on innuendoes, rumors and lies. But I will not endorse.
See Gordon’s full piece here. For more on the subject of rabbis and politics, see this collection of short essays by rabbis on whether they should endorse candidates from Moment Magazine.