Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein
Rabbi Jay M. Stein on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 12:00:00 am
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. מַתִּיר אֲסוּרִים
Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam Matir Asurim
Praised are You Sovereign of the universe Who frees the captive.
According to the Freedom Project, 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually. An estimated 45.8 million slaves exist today.
Our defining story as a nation is our liberation from slavery. It is the motivation behind all of the kindness we exhibit. “Because we were slaves,” we know what it means to be held captive. “Because we were strangers,” we know what it means to feel foreign.
The P’nei Yehoshua, Rabbi Jacob Joshua Falk explains that freeing a slave also frees the owner. When we are witness or worse party to slavery we too are diminished. It is dehumanizing to have such power over other human beings.