‘Let My People Go!’

January 12, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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‘Let My People Go!’

“Let my people go!” Moses exclaims these well-known words to Pharaoh in this week’s Torah portion.  We also read of God sending the first seven of the plagues, Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Beasts, Pestilence, Boils, and Fiery Hail.  Pharaoh’s heart is hardened and we do not go free.

As Moses prepares to go to Pharaoh, God tells him, “I place you in the role of God to Pharaoh, with your brother, Aaron, as your prophet.” (Exodus 7:1)  What can we learn from God placing Moses in this God-like role?

One lesson we may take from this is recognizing the Godliness in others. Our creation narrative reminds us that people are created in the image of God. Rabbi Bradley Artson writes in The Bedside Torah, “If God’ image is found reflected in the humanity of other human beings, then each enchanter with another person is potentially an encounter with God. Each conversation, each opportunity to interact with someone else, is no less than an act of revelation. 

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel used to criticize the popular idea that Judaism prohibited images of God.  In fact, he would say, if you look around during a Shabbat service, you will see that God’s image fills each occupied seat.  The assembled worshippers are themselves images of God!”

Our job is two-fold, we must both acknowledge that we are all created in the image of God and we must act in such a way with every one of our interactions.  This weekend we honor Dr. Martin Luther Kings legacy working towards equality of all people regardless of race.  Our job to work as partners with God to further Dr. King’s vision.

We have made some progress toward’s Dr. King’s vision yet our job is not done and we cannot be satisfied.  Dr. King states: 

We cannot walk alone, and as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights: “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We can not be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied so long as the Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and the Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

    On that day we will know and act towards one another as we are all Godly and created in the image of God.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Metz

Please join us:

Tonight, 1/12 8 PM, Kabbalat Shabbat with a discussion on the Torah portion and Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision.  Also with special dessert and thanks to Evonne Goldman.

Tomorrow, 1/13 10 AM, Shabbat services with discussion.
Shabbat services are ON next week, 
     Friday 1/19 8 PM
     Saturday 1/20 9 AM, bagel breakfast, 9:30 – 10:30  
     Shabbat service led by Marc Fertik.

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal