In the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, Vaera, we have doubts about ever being freed from the bondage of Egypt, and God reassures us by telling Moses: “Say to the Israelite people: I am Adonai, I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage.”
Our people continue to ask…how long? Will the promise for freedom expire? Today as we still await the freedom of more than 100 hostages held in Gaza. We feel impatient, anxious, and terrified imaging what’s next without a promise for freedom.
God continues to reassure us through reiterating the promise of freedom, and as well, the title from this portion gives us a clue as to how God shows us promise. “Vaera”- to show, to see, to be seen. God shows us through plagues and through defeat of the Egyptians through God’s strength and through Moses as a leader. Just as we mourn for lives lost in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, we remember the blood spilled and lives lost as we sprinkle a little grape juice/wine onto our plates as we name the plagues at our Seder.
This weekend we are celebrating the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In his speech “How Long? Not Long” on March 25, 1965, Dr. King says: “How long will it take?” “How long will prejudice blind the visions of men, darken their underwing, and drive bright-eyed wisdom from her sacred throne?” How long, not long because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
His speech goes on to say what he has seen- how he has gained hope through “seeing” the gathering of community and through those who side with hope, justice and peace. We are among those that need to be seen and heard. Our message is strong- there is no place for anti-Semitism or hate- there is only room for love and understanding. Moral clarity is just as powerful as sending plagues- moral clarity is a wakeup call and an alarm. The promise for freedom from the bondage of hatred and narrowness will NEVER expire.
Please join together as a KI family for on Friday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m. for our Shabbat Service honoring MLK with our Social Justice Committee, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
Sunday, January 14 from 9:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. JQuest MLK Day of Learning and Service and then 1:00 p.m. join our Social Justice Committee & Eastern Montco Interfaith Coalition for a Celebration of MLK at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Glenside.