Modern slavery is everywhere, and women principally are its victims.
Judaism is a religion that likes symbols. The Passover Seder table is full of them: There’s the salt that can represent tears or bitterness, the wine as metaphor for blood, the unleavened matzah as a symbol for humility, and so on.
Quentin Tarantino’s "Django" is sparking controversy — and not just for its flagrant use of the n word. According to African-American film critic Tim Cogshell (quoted by Erin Aubry Kaplan in the Times), “The surreal liftoff that happens at some point in ‘Basterds’ [Tarantino’s take on the Holocaust] doesn’t happen here, because of the weight of what’s still real. For example, there’s a certain racial backlash to Obama that’s still going on. Quentin wants this to be a dark comedy, but with [black] history the way it is, you can’t get from here to there in a movie.”
Passover celebrates the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, their wandering in the desert for 40 years, and their ultimate deliverance to the Promised Land.
Alan Cheuse is probably best known for his savvy and engaging book reviews on National Public Radio, but he is also an accomplished novelist and essayist. His latest book, “Song of Slaves in the Desert” (Sourcebooks, $25.99), is a Great American Novel in the most profound and important sense — a novel about the human experience of slavery in the American South.
When my student Adam confronted me recently with this question "In a post-Freudian world, how can we trust the honesty of our intentions?" my response was, "Our conscious and subconscious can be likened to matzah and chametz."
That's why Rabbi Leah Kroll, who is also a rabbi at Stephen S. Wise Temple, founded "Dream Freedom" in 2001. Inspired by a former slave's book of the same name, which chronicles slavery in the Sudan, Kroll has conducted a monthlong project between Purim and Passover every other year to educate Milken's middle school students about the plight of slavery.
But for thousands of people like Flor, slavery is not a thing of the past. Slavery is, in fact, very much alive in the world today. Twenty-seven million people are working as indentured slaves in the world today, according to Kevin Bales, author of "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy" (University of California Press, 2000), the first worldwide study of human slavery. Bales is also president of the organization Free the Slaves, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to ending slavery around the world.
In Israel, sex trafficking remains a very serious problem.
The benefits of the seven-year cycle are immeasurable. First, the land recovers the trace minerals it needs without using ammonium-nitrate-based fertilizers, which endangers the aquatic ecosystems. Second, the social structure is corrected every seven years; the differences between the classes are eroded and a sense of unity and togetherness takes over. Lastly, the seventh year provides an opportunity to stop the insane race for provisions, power and glory. It allows people to reconnect to the precious gifts of their family and their inner self.
A new version of "The Ten Commandments," with its timeless themes of slavery and freedom, faith and doubt, adultery and fidelity, battles and miracles, has been shaped into a four-hour miniseries by ABC-TV.
Vincent introduces us to three women who illuminate three very different aspects of the shameful reality of white slavery that existed in Latin America between 1860 and 1939.
And the fact that Jewish and Christian themes and theology overlap, especially in the black church -- the story of Moses and the divinely aided deliverance of his people from slavery comes to mind -- makes Nelson resonate that much more. All of which is fine by him.
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy." – Abraham Lincoln
The oldest and most primitive human dates back about 7 million years, according to a skull found by scientists in Central Africa.
"That's so depressing," I say to my husband, Larry. "I can't believe that in 7 million years we haven't evolved any further than this."
"This" being a world in which half the people live on less than $2 a day; in which 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night; in which 115 million children never go to school at all; and in which 27 million people live in some kind of slavery.
"You're looking at this all wrong," Larry assures me. "Seven million years is an insignificant blip in the history of the cosmos."
And, Jewish tradition tells me, the first 6,994,235 years hardly count.
Rather than speaking out against slavery, local students are rocking out to show their support.
What do cloven-hoofed cud-chewers have to do with ritual purity, much less holiness? In what way do fins and scales on a fish acknowledge God as the One who redeemed us from slavery? The "explanation" for kashrut demands further explanation.
It is the Torah's most exciting, most cinematic story. The Israelites, newly freed from slavery, were camped at the shores of the sea when suddenly the sounds Pharaoh's approaching chariots filled the air. Realizing they were trapped, the ex-slaves cried bitterly to Moses, "Were there too few graves in Egypt, that you brought us to die here?" (Exodus 14:11) Moses prayed for deliverance, and was commanded: "Tell the Israelites to go forward. And you lift up the rod and hold out your arm over the sea and split it." (Exodus 14:15-16)
From the Torah's beginning until its end, God is portrayed as being personally involved in the welfare of humanity. Deism is not a Jewish notion. God is not an "unmoved mover," the proverbial clockmaker who after assembling and winding his ware, steps back watching it tick down, never to again involve Himself with it. On the contrary, God hears our innermost thoughts, feels our deepest concerns, judges us and guides us through our lives. A traditional Jewish concept of God is one that is interactive and intimately personal.
At every Passover seder, in each generation, Jews are reminded to see themselves as though they came out of Egypt in person.
At noon on Sunday the Passover Posse will tromp through the lobby of the Skirball Cultural Center.
Hundreds of people turned out for the Simon Weisenthal Center Museum of Tolerance's one-day symposium, "A Call to Freedom." The conference, held last month, highlighted the plight of black slaves in Sudan and Mauritania, where today, "tens of thousands of blacks are sold into slavery, raised like slaves and have the deadened expressions of men and women who know no other life but the life of a slave," said Sam Cotton, author of "Silent Terror," a book describing his secret trip to Mauritania where he interviewed slaves.