In the days following the 2020 election, I was reminded of a meeting a number of years ago of the Central Conference of American Rabbis in Jerusalem. Yossi Klein Halevi (senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem) spoke to 200 Reform rabbis from around the world and characterized two broad psychological, emotional, moral, and political orientations of Jews based on the Purim and Exodus narratives. He acknowledged that most of us embrace and reflect both attitudes to a lesser and greater degree, but from time to time emphasize one over the other depending upon circumstances.

In my blog at the Times of Israel, I discuss why I believe that the Purim-Pesach continuum helps to explain why American Jews voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, and why Israeli Jews overwhelmingly preferred Donald Trump “from the standpoint of Israel’s interests.”