Monday, March 22, 2010

Is he leading us out? (close calls and Feasts of Freedom)

As Pesach fast approaches, I have been taking time to reflect on the ways that I have been led out of my own personal places of bondage over the past year. One thing that has gripped me more than once over my life is the terror of not being able to get medical care when I need it. I have let this fear influence me to stay in jobs and situations that were toxic to me -- just because of terror of living without health coverage.

I do not know exactly what this new bill will mean overall, but I do know that it will mean that I -- as an American citizen -- will never again have to stay in the bondage of a terrible job, enduring the efforts of abusive supervisors trying to harass me into quitting, just because of my fear of being left without health insurance. That is real freedom.

The vote in the House was close -- 219 to 212 -- which might seem discouraging at first. But let us not forget how many _votes_ over the millennia -- votes that now seem like almost everyone must have been for them at the time -- were in fact quite close calls. The first of those close calls was the decision to follow Moses -- משה/Moshe -- out of the bondage of slavery. It might seem strange that the People Israel would turn away from Moshe's leadership, from the gift of Torah at Mt. Sinai and from the path to the Promised Land. But turn away they did -- many times, including in the incident of the Golden Calf. But in the end they followed Moses to the edge of the Promised Land and then his follower, Joshua, into the Land itself.

President Obama, may it be God's will to give you the strength of Moshe -- the strength to endure many trials and much criticism -- in your efforts to do right.

And may it be God's will that we all should be guided out of our places of bondage in the coming year -- and that we should have the strength to follow that way out.

חג כשר ושמח

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