Wearing Purple on Election Day


As I searched my mind and soul for what to say on this historic election day, I received these beautiful thoughts via e-mail from my friend and congregant Lesley Williams:

I wore purple to the election booth today, not red or blue. Today we make history, no matter what color your state or your skin. Today we elect either our first black president or our first woman vice-president. As I touched the final “cast your ballot” square, I thought of all those I love who are no longer here to share this moment

This is for my father, who survived the hell of the Jim Crow south, poll taxes, and hooded Klansmen at the voting booths, yet who voted in every election he possibly could and taught me to do the same.

This is for my mother, who organized rallies, led teach-ins, helped found Trinity Church, (yes, THAT Trinity Church) and always believed that what unites us is more powerful than what divides.

This is for Poppa, my irascible, opinionated grandfather-in-law who always made sure his voice was heard.

This is for Marge Sobel, that warm, fiercely intelligent science teacher who raised two outspoken children in a household where spirited, respectful dissent was always welcomed.

This is for Cheney, Schwerner and Goodman, Alice Paul and Susan B., Viola Liuzzo and Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers and MLK. The dream lives.

This is for Studs.

This is for Callie, my daughter, and all our daughters and sons, who will tell their grandchildren that they witnessed this day.

My favorite Jewish prayer is the Shehechiyanu: Praise God for sustaining us and allowing us to see this moment. Shout out a secular “Shehechiyanu!” everyone. Say Amen.

Say…yes we can.

1 thought on “Wearing Purple on Election Day

  1. Shirley Gould

    What a beautiful comment. And may I add that I voted in this historic election mindful of the difficulties my parents and grandparents survived when they got on the boats to go to the”goldene Medinah”. I’m so glad to be in the same congregation with Lesley.


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