Passover Message from Family Security Mattersby RUTH KING April 11, 2014
On Monday evening on the 14th day of April Jews will gather with friends and family to celebrate Passover. We will recount the hardships of slavery in Egypt and the harsh oppression by the Pharaoh. We will rejoice in the rescue by Moses who demanded freedom for our people. We will recite the ten plagues that were unleashed on the Egyptians when the Pharaohs refused to free the Jews .The Pharaoh finally relented but when the Jews were leaving he sent an army to capture them and return them to enslavement. We will cheer when we retell how the waters of the Red Sea miraculously parted giving the Jews an escape, and the waters returned drowning the pursuing army.
Then, we will have a moment of silent prayer in memory of the martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto who courageously rebelled on Passover in April of 1943 and held off the well-armed Nazis for over a month.
Finally, we will recount another miracle- the return of the Jews to Israel in 1948 when the seas again parted- this time for the steel hulls of vessels bringing besieged and beleaguered and traumatized survivors of the Genocide of World War 2 to safety and succor in the Jewish state of Israel.
Then we will eat, drink and be merry.
But, the story of Passover continues with great consequences:
The book of Exodus says that after crossing the Red Sea, Moses led the Jews into the Sinai, where they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. After travelling through the desert for nearly three months, they camped before Mount Sinai and it was there that God made a covenant with Moses and revealed the Ten Commandments on two stone tablets that codified the mandate to create a just and humane society and govern the lives of Jews and all decent people and nations. There are actually 613 commandments which cover every aspect of life-even hygiene and diet, but the Decalogue- the Ten Commandments are the most famous.
Think about that. At a time and place of local mores that sanctioned and celebrated murder and pillage and tyranny, these laws set forth principles of morality which have lasted for millennia.
Until 2005 The Ten Commandments were prominently displayed in courts, schools, churches and public grounds. In 2005 rulings on the presentation of religious symbols and sacred text on Texas public property, the US Supreme Court justified displays like the Ten Commandments but with the caveat that such displays must be clearly secular and not cross the line into proselytizing.
However, in a ruling on the display of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky courthouses, the justices ruled 5 to 4 that public officials were not motivated by a secular purpose in ordering the courthouse display but sought to advance religion in violation of the separation of church and state.
The debate continues with the ACLU pitted against all public displays of the Ten Commandments and determined citizens of all religions who fight to uphold their rights to display them. There are prominent jurists and scholars who continue to argue on that subject. In spite of these controversies, The Ten Commandments continue to inspire all the world's religions and all decent societies- religious as well as secular.
Here, in this great nation we live in freedom from intimidation, oppression and harassment because those founding fathers who sought to "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity" were religious Christians who were informed and guided by the Bible and the Ten Commandments which were revealed more than 3,000 years ago to Moses and the Jewish people on their way to their homeland in Israel.
All of us at Family Security Matters wish all our readers and supporters a sweet and happy Passover and a joyous and peaceful Easter.
Ruth King is a freelance writer. She has written a book and articles on gardening, and also writes a monthly column in OUTPOST, the publication of Americans for a Safe Israel.