November 18, 2018

The American Civil War: A Powerful Reminder of Why We Need to Recall the Exodus

While many of the stories within our tradition are rich with meaning, the most powerful and influential one on my life has been the story of Passover.  I believe Passover is about strengthening one of the most important virtues- being a person of integrity.  We step back and look at how the world we have created around us may mirror something that is incongruent with our Jewish principles. 

For me, one of the most important questions to ask ourselves during Passover is how we may have acted like Pharaoh within our own lives.  Because of our Yetzer Hara, our evil impulse, I know that we are all capable of acting like Pharaoh.  Whether it is through oppressing others, or something less harsh such as gossip, we can forget how everyone is made in the image of God.

Year after year, retelling the story of the exodus is a reminder to live our lives to the fullest and with dignity, and to treat others with dignity as well.  “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt.” (23:9).

The Whipping Man

I was recently contacted by a staff member at the “>Go Down Moses: Finding Kinship between the Jewish and African Slave Experience.”  They wanted to know if we could discuss working together to create the content for a gallery on site being used as an extension of the play, Creating a World Incongruent with Jewish Values 

The play is what I believe to be one of the most powerful examples of why we need to keep recalling the story of the exodus from slavery.  As some Jews during the Civil War spoke out loud the words in the Haggadah, we know that those words were not truly being heard because they owned slaves.

While doing research, I found an interesting article in the Jewish Daily Forward, “>HERE}.