A Cantor’s Case for Reparations

Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m.

Zecher L’tziat Mitzrayim, “Remember the exodus from Egypt,” is a prominent motif within our prayers. In fact, in the Mishnah and the Passover Haggadah, we learn that we are obligated to be aware of this redemptive experience all of the days of our life. Perhaps because of discomfort, or respectability politics, we often leave out an integral part of the narrative, stated explicitly four times in the Humash, alluded to in Ezekiel, unpacked by our classical interpreters and by the Talmudic sages, and referenced overtly and more subtly in the during the Passover Seder and the B’rit Milah.

Reparations. Our Hebrew ancestors took them when they departed Egypt. The issue of reparations for American people of color, whose ancestors were enslaved and who, over generations, have endured institutionalized theft, predation, violence and indignities, has become part of the American conversation. We must be a part of these conversations and allies for positive change. What insights does Jewish wisdom bring to this discussion? Join Cantor Michael McCloskey, who has studied these primary texts with Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein, author of the "Torah Case for Reparations” for a stimulating and heart-engaging text study.

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