Bo: Hold your signs high

jordan-bendat-appel
Meryem Yildirim, 7, left, sits on her father, Fatim, of Schaumburg, and Adin Bendat-Appell, 9, right, sits on his father, Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, of Deerfield, during a protest on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Ill. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

“They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts an the lintel of the houses in which they are to eat it.” (Ex 12:7)

The Israelites were identifying their homes, so the Angel of Death would pass over them, and keep them from the 10th plague, the death of the first borns.  “And the blood on the houses were you are staying shall be a sign for you: when I see the blood I will pass over you, so that no plague will destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt (Ex 12:13)

One can imagine there was more than one audience for those blood smears.  God saw it, and knew the people were obeying God’s instructions.  Egyptians saw it, and would have surmised that they were about to be struck with another plague, one that, again, avoided affecting the Israelites.  And the Israelites saw it, knowing that their national identity was visible and their solidarity was on display.

Solidarity on display.  There have been many signs of solidarity on display over the last week.   Signs held over pink hats.  Signs calling for humanity and love. Signs against a hateful, fear-mongering ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees.  Signs of welcome for these same immigrants and refugees.  Signs of resistance to erosion of rights fought and died for.  Signs of determination to keep our voices heard.  Signs of vigilance and vision.

Many have said that these massive demonstrations don’t really do anything, that our voices are going to be ignored anyway.  But the signs on the lintels weren’t only for the Egyptians, the oppressors.  They were for the Israelites, too, so they would see they weren’t alone.  The signs were there to tell them why they were about to go into the wilderness, following one man with a vision and faith in a God they couldn’t see.  The signs told them that they would begin their journey together, and that if they kept their eyes on the signs all around them, throughout that journey, they would arrive at a place of plenty.

Keep making and holding high your signs.

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