Commentary on Parashat Bo: Exodus 10:1-13:6
Rabbi Em Mueller, Sim Shalom Online Jewish Universalist Synagogue
January 31, 2017
This week I’ve been reading many commentaries about this parashah trying to find the link between this ancient text and the latest actions of President Trump. At myjewishlearning.org, I found it:
Modern psychoanalyst Erich Fromm writes, “The more man’s heart hardens, the less freedom he has to change; the more he is determined by previous action … there comes a point of no return, when man’s heart has become so hardened … that he has lost the possibility of freedom.”
It seems to be the case that Trump, having received accolades and votes for being himself, has become . . . himself! Our president follows no rules but his own; respects neither women nor minority nor immigrant; cares for no guidance but from his closest allies who have been chosen because of their loyalty to him; disregards the Constitution of this country; but moves full speed ahead on his campaign promises, regardless of their legality.
We, the people of the United States, are caught in a time when we must keep vigilant in order to protect the rights of each individual. We must keep our eyes open, our ears ready to listen to the day’s news. And we must be ready to take action. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel worked hard for civil rights in the 1960s. He is famously quoted for saying “My feet are praying” as he marched for justice.
Now, each of us must make a similar commitment: we must each pray with our feet, and with our voices loud and strong, demanding that the president of this country act with dignity and kindness, with compassion and justice, and in accordance with the Constitution of the United States.
President Trump’s heart is hardened by his years of caring for no one but himself; our hearts must be vigilant in caring for human dignity and for the laws of this land.
May we use our energy and our voices to speak out for justice.