Maggid: Telling Our Story of Resistance

This Resistance Passover is created by Rebecca Ennen and Rabbi Elizabeth Richman of Jews United for Justice. Visit www.jufj.org to learn more.

Telling Our Story

Reader:
In every generation we must each see ourselves k’ilu hu yatzah mi-Mitzrayim / as though we ourselves were freed from Egypt. This year the story speaks for itself:

All:
Long ago, a new king rose over Egypt. ‘Behold!” he said. “The people are too many and too mighty. Let us deal shrewdly with them.” He set over them taskmasters to afflict them and to make their lives bitter and harsh. We became slaves to Pharaoh in Mitzrayim.

Had God not brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, we and our children and our children’s children would still be servants to Pharaoh.

Reader:
There arose in America a President who did not know the real promise of this country, who did not recognize the beauty of our American ideals. He made our lives harsh with schemes of registers, walls, deportations, and humiliation. He embittered our lives: trampled the poor, cut our safety nets, and flouted the rule and protections of law. He afflicted and enabled the forces of hate. He feared that we, the people, were too numerous – and he tried to divide us from each other.

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Rabbi Arthur Waskow on Radio Occupy Faith

Rabbi Arthur Waskow interview with Interfaith “Occupy”  Radio.

Discussing the Exodus as an example of a general strike, the dissolution of pharaoh’s power, the creation of “islands of decency” within the European Jewish ghettos, freedom of Soviet Jewry used Gandhian nonviolence, and the current coming together of “anti-pharaoh’s freedom values” among various faith communities.

Beautiful description of Kol Nidrei and Isaiah 58 celebrated at Occupy Camps. You can listen to it here:   http://anoccupiedfaith.tumblr.com/

Bedouin Desert Tricks and Exodus 17

Ched Myers is the best “Bible animator” I know. Here’s a short reflection from him on Exodus 17 that combines attentive listening to the text and deep earth wisdom.

Exodus 17:8-13 is a venerable old tale, if not a nonviolent one. Freshly liberated by YHWH (with an assist from nature) from Pharaoh’s imperial straightjacket, Moses and his refugee community have commenced their wilderness sojourn. They are having to re-learn primal lessons of subsistence gathering and dependence upon God’s creation (the “bread and water miracles” of Ex. 16-17 are old Bedouin tricks). Amidst this comes the very first resistance to their journey, as they are attacked by Amalekites, a contemporaneous nomadic tribe of raiders that was presumably far more adept at desert skirmishing than the Israelites. So commences the first of what will be innumerable battles with various inhospitable groups in the course of Israel’s liberation struggle.–Ched Myers

See more of Ched’s work at www.chedmyers.org.