A Jewish Reflection on Slavery

Saturday, May 22, 1943

Passover was long over but Lois’ father was still considering its message. In a letter written and posted today, he mused on the meaning of the Hebrews’ escape from Egypt: “I think it is, or should be unethical, to forever neglect or ignore a question or topic raised in the course of correspondence. I shall therefore pick up one loose and dangling about our Passover… I want you to have the picture right. ‘Slavery’ has been abolished long enuf for all of us 20th century babies to begin doubting the truth of its horror [as] described. Just like a child born in riches never feels the urge to exercise all possibilities money could bring within reach, so is a free people. Once enslaved, the slightest display of freedom is cherished. Well, as described in the Talmud, the difference from a slave to a free man is like from a plain person to a king.” That is why, he explained, the father leading the Passover seder must regard himself as a king, the mother as a queen, and the children as royalty. With millions enslaved by the Axis forces, it was a fitting reminder of how precious and precarious freedom is.

 

This entry was posted in Chicago during WW II, Jewish life in America during WW II, Today in WWII, Uncategorized, World War II. Bookmark the permalink.

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