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make a difference

Thursday, 23 December, 2010 - 11:59 am

This week's Torah portion begins with the passing of Jacob's twelve sons. Pharaoh resolved to find a solution to the "Israelite problem." He proposed to afflict theIsraelites by imposing slave labor upon them, thus trying to prevent them from multiplying. "But as much as they would afflict them, so did they multiply and so did they gain strength." Pharaoh then summoned the Hebrew midwives and instructed them to kill all the Hebrew sons that they delivered. Therighteous midwives feared G‑d, however, and defied Pharaoh's order.

Was the Pharaoh who enslaved the Jews a new Pharaoh or was it the old one acting in a different way, ignoring their earlier connection? This question is an argument of the Sages in the Talmud.

The midwives in Egypt ignored Pharaoh's order to kill all the Jewish boys and to educate the girls in the Egyptian way. They had the courage to ignore what was politically correct. They did what they had to and their action made a huge difference. Moses was saved because of them and later he redeemed us.

This story teaches us a great lesson. Even though we may have an "in" withthe political leaders (on a national, state, community, or personal level,) nevertheless, when there is an "order" which is evil or immoral, we must stand up for what is right. If there is an edict that goes against the Torah, we should do what we can to choose the guidance of The Torah and its  Mitzvot. This will make a difference and make the world a more just and peaceful place.

Enjoy your long week-end and make a difference.

Good Shabbos

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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