- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) For several crucial days right before the election, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joseph I. Lieberman will be sidelined from the campaign trail by religious holidays.
Mr. Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew and the first Jew on a major party national ticket, does not campaign on the Sabbath the traditional day for worship and rest that stretches from sundown each Friday to sundown Saturday or on holidays.
"I'm just going to do what I've always done and work extra hard on the days that I'm campaigning," Mr. Lieberman said in an interview yesterday with the Associated Press.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, falls on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, falls on Oct. 9. The first two days of Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, arrive Oct. 14 and 15. Simhat Torah, which celebrates the end of one cycle of Torah reading and the start of a new one comes on Oct. 22. Election Day is Nov. 7.
"Al Gore is a man of faith and he respects my faith and my observance and he's been very clear that he doesn't want me to vary from my traditional practices and I won't," Mr. Lieberman said of the man who heads of the ticket.
His wife, Hadassah, also spoke of the role the family's religion will play with voters during an interview today on CBS' "The Early Show."
"It's up to us to show those people how good a job we do. And that's the way we'll teach them," Mrs. Lieberman said. "That's the only way, through role modeling and believing. We're people of faith. It centers us. It empowers us just like it does with many people in this country in different faiths."
Still, Mrs. Lieberman said, "Eventually we want to get over that in the sense that that's great to talk about, but that's not why he's running and that's not what Joe Lieberman's all about."
Polls say eight in 10 people believe the country is ready to have a Jewish vice president, and more than that say they would vote for Mr. Lieberman, though polls often don't accurately pick up bias. Just over a third say they haven't heard enough to have an opinion.


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