It’s often hard to decide when to act and when to let something slide…. In our weekly Torah portion, Shemot, we read of Pharaoh’s decree to drown the newborn baby boys, born to the Israelite people in Egypt. Joseph died and was forgotten. The good that Joseph had done for Egypt was, seemingly, a thing of the past. What remained was the fear that the Israelites would outnumber the Egyptians and overtake the Land of Egypt. And the future was bleak, at least for the foreseeable future.
In the face of Pharaoh’s decree and the uncertainty of the times, the midwives stood up for what was right. They disobeyed Pharaoh – refusing to drown the baby boys. Instead, though their acts of “civil disobedience” placed them in mortal danger, they stood up for life and for justice.
This weekend we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The call to stand up for what is right is not a thing of the past. We are yet faced with moments when we are called upon to decide whether we too will take the necessary steps to do the right thing or not.
May our Torah portion and our remembrance of the sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and of so many of his followers, remind us of the power of individuals to make a difference for the good.
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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