Monday, January 15, 2007

Torah and Martin Luther King

By coincidence (or perhaps not) Martin Luther King's birthday comes out about the time we read Parshat Shemot. For those too young to remember Dr. King and his struggles, imagine a time when, in a large portion of our country, Americans with dark skin had to ride in the back of the bus, could not use the same rest rooms, drink from the same water fountains, be served in establishments otherwise open to the public, and so forth. Sounds like the bad old days in South Africa, no? But apartheid was firmly established right here in the U.S.A. Martin Luther King helped end it with a campaign of civil disobedience. Faced with a bad law, you violate it repeatedly in a very public way and willingly take the legal consequences. We associate this very effective tactic with people like Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi, but to the best of my knowledge its first use was in our Torah, in the parsha we just read. "The midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt told them." That's it, al regal ahat, and Martin Luther King, a Protestant minister, had to know about it. The Jews wrote the Bible and the Protestants study it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Ding dong the witch is dead

OK, a male witch, but the year ended on a good note with a bloody tyrant receiving his just deserts at the hands of the people he oppressed murderously for 30 years.


I know it's not our new year, but it's the New Year that the world does business by, so I'll take the liberty to wish my readers:
A year of prosperity (parnassa)
A year where Orthodox men don't have to be ashamed to work for a living
A year where being able to support a wife and kids will once again be an asset in the shiddukh market
And a year of continuing victories in the war for survival in which we are engaged -
Osama with a bullet through his brain or swinging from a rope. Before Purim?