- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On January 5, 2018
- 0 Comments
Bombogenesis described what many of us experienced yesterday with a storm of snow, wind, thunder, and ice; a full expression of the wrath the weather. We don’t need to understand fully the meteorological technical term to comprehend its impact or the strong metaphor it offers!
So, let’s look at the beginning of Exodus through the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel:
The first conference on religion and race took place in Egypt. The main participants were Pharaoh and Moses. Moses said, “Thus saith the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go.” And Pharaoh answered, “Who is the Lord that I should heed His word? I will not let them go.” The outcome of that summit meeting has not come to an end. Pharaoh is not ready to capitulate. The Exodus began, but it is far from being complete.
This narrative initiated an explosion that continues to this very day. Pharaoh’s stubbornness and myopic comprehension of his ability to end suffering created a cyclone of misery.
Pharaoh thought of himself as a victim to the mass of people he had enslaved. He no longer had the capacity to analyze what he said. Though he may have had thoughts about it, he had no capacity to consider the ramifications or justifications for his thoughts, as if he didn’t even think about the things he was actually thinking about! 
Pharaoh represents thoughtless leadership, especially because he thought it was all about himself. Being in charge doesn’t mean how “me, myself, and I” will be best served by the circumstance or worse, how to subjugate, to oppress, or to belittle others on the path to get what you want. It wasn’t even really between Moses and Pharaoh but between Pharaoh and God. Moses gave voice to it. “Let My people go” means that we belong to something greater than ourselves and we need other people to walk along with us on this sacred journey.
We are all part of that first conference of race and religion. The ancient story laid down the foundation but it connects to every gathering of those who seek to stand up to and confront narcissistic self-interest and aggrandizing in the name of race and religion.
Next week, at Shabbat Tzedek, we will gather to honor Martin Luther King’s legacy and to continue our work to repair and to build a better city and society where all people, no matter their race, gender, or orientation receive the most humane and respected regard. As Heschel reminded us, “The Exodus began, but it is far from being complete.”
Come into where it is warm and cozy for Qabbalat Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. Live web stream HERE.
Rabbi Ronne Friedman will lead Torah study at 9:00 a.m. We start with a short service and Torah reading and then a lively discussion.
Share your reflections and thoughts with me directly and confidentially HERE.
I encourage you to check out the Boston Globe Spotlight team seven-part series entitled “Boston.Race.Image.Reality” as we prepare for next week and beyond!
 Actual quote comes from Inherit the Wind:
Matthew Harrison Brady: I do not think about things I do not think about.
Henry Drummond: Do you ever think about things that you do think about?