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Shemot שמות

שְׁלַח נָא אֶת עַמִּי

Go Down, Moses - Let My People Go    

 

 

"וְאַחַ֗ר בָּ֚אוּ מֹשֶׁ֣ה וְאַהֲרֹ֔ן וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל שַׁלַּח֙ אֶת־עַמִּ֔י וְיָחֹ֥גּוּ לִ֖י בַּמִּדְבָּֽר׃ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֔ה מִ֤י יְהוָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶשְׁמַ֣ע בְּקֹל֔וֹ לְשַׁלַּ֖ח אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לֹ֤א יָדַ֙עְתִּי֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה וְגַ֥ם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֹ֥א אֲשַׁלֵּֽחַ׃"

 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Let My people go that they may celebrate a festival for Me in the wilderness.” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should heed Him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go.”

Exodus 5:1-2

 

In this week's Parasha we read the well-known phrase which will appear many more times throughout the story of the exodus from Egypt "Let MY people go".  The biblical story of a slave nation, which after years of suffering and servitude,  obtained its freedom from the hand of God, spoke to the hearts of black slaves in the United States and served as a model for their struggle against the white, enslavement and racist rule.   The phrase inspired the famous spiritual song "Go down Moses".

The phrase "Let My people go" later became the slogan of the struggle to free Soviet Jewry in the 1970s. This Hebrew version of the song is performed by the Israeli group "Hachim v'Hachayot"  in the early seventies. 

 

 

 Click here to download lyrics in Hebrew and English

 

"Hachim v'Hachayot"

 

Louis Armstrong "Let My People Go"

 

 Let My People Go - Cantor Freddy Peer

 

The Masorti Movement is committed to a pluralistic, egalitarian, and democratic vision of Zionism. Masorti represents a “third” way. Not secular Judaism. Not ultra-Orthodoxy. But a Jewish life that integrates secular beliefs. Halakhah with inclusion and egalitarianism. Tradition that recognizes the realities of today’s world. Masorti engages tens of thousands of Israelis each year, young and old, native born as well as olim from around the globe.
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