January 4, 2022, Israel
In the Torah reading of "Parshat Wa Era" Exodus Chapters 7 -9, the words "Let My People Go" enter the human lexicon.
Let us think about this for a moment.
Two old men, Moshe and his brother Aharon, approach the most powerful dictator of their time, Pharaoh mighty king of Egypt. These two old Hebrews "armed" with nothing more than their walking canes and the words of an unknown invisible God, dare to enter the palace of the great king and make demands.
"God spoke with Moshe and said come to Pharaoh and say to him, 'Let my people go so that they can worship me'". (Exodus, Chapter 7, verse 26)
Five times during this episode those words appear, Let my people Go!
Again in chapter 9, verse 1, same message but slightly stronger words, "God spoke to Moshe; Come to Pharaoh and TELL him thus has said the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go so that they can worship me"
The call for freedom starts with two old Hebrews, but over the next 3,700 years this would become the cry of freedom for all those who seek to live life on their own terms. From the Jews of Catholic Spain suffering under the Inquisition, to the African slaves toiling in the fields of America, the slave ships, the Arab slave market, The Russian and Ukrainian peasants, in Auschwitz; Let my people Go! Wherever human dignity is trampled upon these words appear again. Let my people Go!
Moshe and Aharon are not negotiating, they are not trying to work out a deal, they are making an absolute unconditional demand. On human freedom there can be no compromise. Let my people Go.
Moshe and Aharon are speaking to Pharaoh and to all those who wish to oppress others, this is a matter of principle for all time, it does not concern only one political leader or nation. The human spirit cannot be held prisoner. You can exile a man, you can put him in chains but you cannot chain his freedom. Our spirit must overcome all.
Two old Hebrews, with white beards and walking sticks, enter the palace of the great and mighty king and make an unconditional demand, and the effects of this reverberate around the world for thousands of years to come.
Our Actions have an effect.
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