delivered at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Lawrence on April 8, 2018
Today I want to talk about two events that took place last week. The first is Passover and the 2nd was the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. King. Hopefully at the end I'll be able to bring the two pieces together.
So Passover is the commemoration of the exodus from Egypt, the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom. I say the beginning of freedom because although in one very important way the Israelites are freed – they are no longer in servitude – in another way they are just getting started.
The haggadah – the ritual guide to the seder service – talks about a conversation between two rabbis, Shmuel and Rav. They're study buddies, and in the rabbinic tradition argumentation is an important means of getting at spiritual truth. So the question is, is slavery in the Exodus story a physical thing or a spiritual thing? Are we talking about actual, physical slavery – working without recompense – or are we talking about spiritual slavery, which Rav says is idol worship that our ancestors did before they came to the realization of the one God. And of course the answer is, both.