Can we imagine people behaving as Pharaoh directs: to kill all the newborn Yisrael-ite baby boys? Seems so extreme and callous….Until we recall the Atlantic Slave Trade or the Trail of Tears or the European treatment of Roma…
We explore the verse, early in the Exodus story, in which the midwives’ use the Hebrew word “chayyot” regarding pregnant Yisrael-ite mothers — comparing them to wildlife. Are there good times and good strategies for using racist concepts?
Quotation from Rabbis Arthur Ocean Waskow and Phyllis Ocean Berman. Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus and Wilderness Across Millennia. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011.
Written version (includes an additional passage) —