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Key Phrases

הי ר כ נ ץר א ב יתי

די מ ,ולי

י ה רג I have been a stranger in a strange land.

שֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִ א

צ ה רשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִ א :ל א שְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִצִּילוֹ, מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם. – And Jethro rejoic ל ה וה י ה שְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִצִּילוֹ, מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם. – And Jethro rejoic ע-ר

ר

י

,ה וטּוֹבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְ ה-לכ לע --ור

בָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָא

ת י ד ח י ו

ם. – And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Eternal One had done to Israel, in that God had delive ר

י

מ. And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Eternal One had done to

צְרָיִם. – And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Eternal One had done to Israel, in that Go

Israel, in that God had delivered them out of the hand of the [narrow places].

רבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָא ד ה ךמ מ דבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָא כ the thing is too heavy for you

הע ר פ בָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָאר ח מ ינ ל צ י ו God delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.

First, read a translation of Exodus chapter 18. Then, make your analogies.

1. הי ר כ נ ץר א ב יתי

י ה רג I have been a stranger in a strange land. I have

been a stranger – I have been told I don't belong, that I am a corrupting or infecting influence, that I deserve to be either subjugated or eliminated.

2.

ולי צ ה ר שֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִ א

,

:לא ר שְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִצִּילוֹ, מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם. – And Jethro rejoic י ל הוה

י השְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִצִּילוֹ, מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם. – And Jethro rejoic ע -רשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל:  אֲשֶׁר הִ א ,הבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָא וטּוֹבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְ

ה -ל כ ל ע--ור

ת י ד ח י ו

ם. – And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Eternal One had done to Israel, in that God had deliveי ר צְרָיִם. – And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Eternal One had done to Israel, in that Go מ די מ . And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the Eternal One had done to Israel, in that God had delivered them out of the hand of the [narrow

places]. God is the power that delivers us out of the Narrows. That power is constantly present in the world. The Sea of Reeds is always parting. Truth can pass through even impossible obstacles, like the sea. Falsehood ultimately collapses, like the chariots of Pharaoh breaking apart under the heavy waters. Truth seeks freedom, freedom to express itself, and it is very creative in finding ways to knock down the walls suppressing it – very good at finding its way to pop up. Truth gets pushed between a rock and a hard place (or an endless sea and a team of Pharaoh's top warriors), but it has instincts about how to make its way through or around those obstacles. Truth seeks freedom – freedom to express itself. Notice how part of how the gay/lesbian community began much of its work for freedom and equality was simply by expressing itself, daring to express itself in public.

3. רבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָא ד ה ךמ מ דבָה, אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה יְהוָה לְיִשְׂרָא כ the thing is too heavy for you. We can't try to tackle the project of justice all by ourselves. But together we can do it. It involves organizing, training, empowering people to make sound decisions that uphold the highest values, and accountability.

4. Jethro is an ally. The last of the letters in GLBTQA stands for “allies.” We

achieve our freedom and our security through our own efforts and through the efforts of allies.

5. The 10 Commandments, as the rabbis understood them, were not the “top 10”

mitzvot out of all 613. All 613 mitzvot were each equally important for the rabbis, the seemingly minor ones as well as the big ones. In other words, do sweat the small stuff. Ve're Jews, ve gotta vorry about everyting!

1. As an aside, I was listening to a radio interview a few weeks ago in

which the journalist was talking to Rahm Emmanuel, the Chief of Staff of the current president. The journalist went over the administration's record in its first year regarding how often Congress approved legislation that the administration publicly stated it supported. He told Rahm E. that despite the setbacks they'd had around healthcare, Congress actually had passed something like 94% of the items the administration had stated it supported, which was a higher percentage for an administration's first year than any in history. “Wouldn't anyone think 94% was pretty good?” he asked. Rahm Emmanual laughed and said, “You obviously weren't raised by a Jewish mother.”

2. Nor did the rabbis see them as 10 commandments, because the really were statements. One way the rabbis looked at the 10 Statements was as category headings, and they grouped the 613 commandments under these 10 category headings. For example, the commandment to observe Yom Kippur is under the category of Honor the Sabbath, because YK involves a holy day in which we refrain from work.

3. Do not make a graven image and bow down before it. Swastika is a graven image. People who worship it bow down before a fantasy of racial purity and the elimination of much of the variety within humanity, including the continuum of sexual orientation and the varieties in gender expression and identity that are part of our humanity and our glory. A fantasy borne of fear, unhealed and never worked through, turned into a force of hate.