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While your neighbor bleeds: Parashat Shemot-Vaera (Exodus 1:1-9:35)

Parashat Shemot-Vaera (Exodus 1:1-9:35)

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/torah_portion/article/while_your_neighbor_bleeds_20101222

At the beginning of Shemot, when Jacob’s offspring were enslaved, oppressed and abused, where were the people who dared to speak truth to power? Where were the consumers who demanded that Egyptian products be free from slave labor? Alas, the world didn’t work that way then. Few stood up against the mighty overlords. We praise the exceptions, like midwives Shifrah and Puah, who defy Pharaoh’s deadly order (Exodus 1:15-21). Fewer still spoke out about how Egypt’s products were made; most Egyptians did not think twice about the morality of slave or child labor. Few if any cared about how much Egypt’s military-industrial complex profited from slavery, even though this cheap source of income fed the fires of Pharaoh’s ever-expanding conquests.

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