Let me not mince words: He’s a narcissistic, unstable tyrant who hates migrant workers and has instituted oppressive policies that endanger their lives. Almost everyone liked his predecessor but it’s a new day. We’ve all been watching and reading about this new guy. He’s so vindictive. He’s intimidated by no one, and you’d better not cross him or you’ll pay the price. One wrong word and you could lose your access to the corridors of power. And without access everything we care about could be undermined. Yet some Jewish leaders have the sheer gall to call out the most powerful leader on the planet. Are they courageous or foolish to speak truth to power?
For at least a moment, I hope you thought I was referring to today’s headlines and not about one of the oldest stories we know. But, the master story of the Jewish people, the Torah, recounts the showdown between the most powerful political leader in the ancient world and our not so articulate and rather intimidated prophet, Moses. All Jews around the world this week read this same portion, Parashat Bo, from the opening chapters of Exodus.