Mevarchin Rosh Chodesh Shevat next Shabbat
Candles 4:22 pm. Havdalah 5:18pm
Exodus starts with slavery and then leads into freedom. Like many themes in the Torah we moderns might think them dated. There is no slavery nowadays. But that’s not true. Still, today real old fashioned slavery continues in parts of Africa, the Arab World and the East. So we who are really free, have much to be grateful for.
The Torah repeats “Remember that you were Slaves in the Land of Egypt” so that we should be sensitive to oppression and forced servitude. Nowadays one can expand this to include the way one treats ones family members and employees. Refusing to deal with issues, failing to communicate, bullying, they are all symptoms of oppression and the victim feels trapped, enslaved metaphorically.
And there’s another kind of slavery; being enslaved to fashion, money, peer group pressure even unquestioned opinions and ideas. The most common form of slavery nowadays is being a slave to society. It is not an exaggeration to say that people are enslaved to their phones and cannot survive without then even one day a week! I have seen people lose their businesses and families simply because they would not or could not change their way of looking at things. Sometimes people are trapped, enslaved in a situation where they feel and are made to feel worthless. So when we read about freedom from slavery let us not only think of Hebrew slaves then. Many of us are still enslaved today.
Next Shabbat I will be in Jerusalem. Looking forward to seeing you when I return.
My weekly blog is at www.jeremyrosen.blogspot.com.