By Norma Zager
“The evil that men should turn their brothers into beasts of burden, to be stripped of spirit, and hope, and strength – only because they are of another race, another creed. If there is a God, he did not mean this to be so.” Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments
I saw an article in the Huffington Post stating there was no Exodus from Egypt. Well, I guess if The Huffington Post says it, they must know.
Did they check YouTube to see if the Jews wondering in the desert made a video? No video? Then it must not be.
At the end of the day, whether or not one believes in the Bible, its existence as the history of the Jewish people or a divine Scripture, that is hardly the point of the Passover story.
For myself, all I can say to these deniers is “Did Moses get the Ten Commandments off of the Internet? Has someone checked Snopes.com?”
This is silly for there is no proof, and yet tons of proof exist about the truth of biblical writings. There are even new scientific explanations for the parting of the Red Sea.
Yet, that is not even close to the point.
If one believes in the Exodus, and I imagine most Jewish people do, or they wouldn’t tolerate matzo for a week, then we must question if we were in actuality ever really freed from slavery.
We walked out of Egypt a free people. Or did we?
On Passover we are reminded of the plight of the Jewish people as slaves in bondage under a cruel Pharaoh.
We read of a messenger from God who led his people out of Egypt into the wilderness and to freedom. Or did he?
Now thousands of years later, is Israel free?
Are we a people that can walk the earth without fear or worry, with no bricks to make or statures and cities to build for the rulers of Egypt?
So you say.
I say not.
I believe we remain even now a people in bondage. Imprisoned by hatred in a world filled with our captors.
Captors that refuse to allow the Jewish people to walk as equals in the world.
Although we have returned to our ancient homeland, we are not free to enjoy and celebrate our freedom. We are still slaves to a hatred of the Jewish people.
Slaves to the anti-Semitism, anger and hostility that followed us from Egypt then back to Israel once again. And now we have come full circle to our homeland.
Yet we are not free.
We live under a cloud of fear and threats each day. Our children do not feel the whip of the taskmaster, but feel the explosives from the enemies’ bombs and terrorists’ guns. Is this freedom?
Is this a people in exile or a people still under the whip of oppression?
We survived one pharaoh only to suffer under numerous others. Torquemada, Hitler, Ahmadinejad, the list is endless.
Does the taskmaster’s whip in Egypt seem any harsher than the torture of the Inquisition or ovens of Germany? Or the threat of nuclear holocaust Israel faces today?
Is making bricks harsher than Jewish children being shot in the streets of France? Or their playgrounds and schools bombed daily?
Perhaps we have not been forgiven for the Golden Calf after all. Perhaps our sins and ingratitude were too great.
Is this freedom? Is this a nation without a taskmaster?
Are the Jews ever without taskmasters, even harsher and more oppressive than those in Egypt?
As Moses led the people through the Red Sea, into the desert and on to Mount Sinai, there was a new hope.
What of today? Should we believe we are free? Our boys are on alert in the IDF instead of home at a family Seder. The watchful eye of the armies of Israel must remain ever vigilant for attack.
For attack will come. It is inevitable.
I wish I could watch The Ten Commandments and believe that lamb’s blood worked its magic and the Hebrews went free to bask in the glory of life without fear.
Yet we are still oppressed. Where is our happy ending?
And who will be the new Moses to guide us through this difficult time?
Can Bibi Netanyahu stem the tide of hatred toward the Jewish people?
Can Israel truly be saved?
The Passover story is an uplifting saga about a people that escaped the yoke of a cruel taskmaster in Egypt. Yet, we never escaped our bonds. We remain a people hated and reviled and the first to receive blame for the ills of the world.
The first nation and people libeled by the family of nations. We are Israel, a people once under the yoke of Egypt, now under the yoke of hatred.
Is there freedom from this evil? Can the Jewish people ever be accepted as equals?
Can anti-Semitism ever be eliminated from a planet that has ingrained it so deeply into the fabric of its existence?
Yes, God led us out of Egypt, but I still wonder that we are celebrating freedom.
I will personally celebrate when every Jewish child is free to walk the streets without danger.
I will celebrate when the United Nations ends its agenda of evil against the Jewish State.
I will celebrate when the United Nations Durban Conferences, designed to spread and justify anti-Semitism, are disparaged by all righteous men.
I will celebrate when being born a Jew is no longer a cross to forever bear.
We may have crossed the Red Sea, but we have yet to navigate a sea of hostility that engulfs Israel. It will take more than lamb’s blood and Moses’ staff to dispel the hatred.
The Jews will only be free when man is free of his own demons, and evil is eliminated.
When humankind has evolved into intellect instead of the animal form it now inhabits.
Until then the Jewish people remain slaves under Pharaoh, no matter what name he uses today.