No one knows tikkun olam, or “repairing the world” like Bubba, right?
Former President Bill Clinton invoked that spirit — and something much more scary — to urge Florida Jews to stick to their Democratic Party roots and vote en masse for Hillary Clinton.
He connected Hillary Clinton’s call for a more inclusive country, embodied in the slogan “Stronger Together,” to the Jewish concept of tikkun olam.
“America is now the longest-lasting free democracy in human history, and it’s because we were given this mission by the founders to form a more perfect union, which is an eternal mission. Our job is to do better,” he said. “This is about tikkun olam… We have bridges in our country. We have to repair them.”
Bill Clinton also attacked Republican candidate Donald Trump as a “threat” to American democracy — and Jews in particular.
“If there is any group of people in this country that should understand the threat to the fundamental character of the nation and the future of our children and grandchildren posed by the choice in this election, it should be members of the Jewish community,” Bill Clinton told a crowd at a synagogue in southern Florida.
Bill Clinton has cultivated strong ties with the Jewish community, in and out of office. He was a good friend of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, delivering an emotional farewell at the leader’s funeral. The biggest donor to the Clinton Foundation is Ukrainian Jew Victor Pinchuk. His daughter Chelsea even married a Jewish man, Marc Mezvinsky. The couple’s wedding was officiated by a minister and rabbi.
Florida – and its sizable Jewish population – is also key to the electoral fortunes of Hillary Clinton. While she leads there and in the national contest, she and Democrats remain painfully aware of the 2000 Bush-Gore race.
This month, the popular vote winner and his vice presidential nominee, former Senator Joe Lieberman, stumped for Clinton in the Sunshine State, warning voters about the perils of staying home in a tight election.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.