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The Slavery of Our Times


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Slavery is hardly the way anyone would define our modern world — especially Western civilization. Most slavery as history knew it seems to have been abolished. We live, as most people would say, in a free world. A time when human rights are cherished and protected. When, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And, as stated in the First Amendment, no law shall be made to limit freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, or of the press.

And yet, can we truly state that we are free? Slavery in the form of physical bondage and subjugation to an imposing individual or group, may be a thing of the past  Slavery in the form of oppression and inhumane treatment, abusing individual rights, may have been eliminated. But how about psychological slavery — feeling victimized by the attitudes of others, by our parents or families, by our employers and our authorities, religious or otherwise, by our governments and education systems, by anyone who wields power — isn’t all that a form of slavery? And what about the slew of addictions hat plague today’s society — doesn’t addiction constitute the worst possible slavery?

And how about being enslaved by the very thing that is supposed to free us — technology? Just witness the way our gadgets consume us to the point of addiction; the hyper-stimulation of our information age, inundating us with a deluge of media, streaming into our consciousness and unconsciousness 24/7, overwhelming our every sense; texting, social media, online shopping, not to mention gaming, entertainment, video streaming, and on and on — filling every waking moment (and perhaps our sleep as well), all crowding out any opportunity to have an intimate face to face conversation with our loved ones and friends. How much time to we waste online? Would anyone call that emancipation?

Please join Rabbi Jacobson in this Vaeirah workshop, applying the lessons of the Egyptian slavery and redemption to our modern-day challenges. Discover the deeper meaning of slavery and how to experience your own personal exodus from the forces that enslave us today.

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