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EDITOR'S COMMENT.18 March 2009
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A Sea of Red
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The Passover miracle of parting the Red Sea helped the Jews escape slavery in Egypt. Once they were safely on the other side, the sea folded in on itself, and swallowed Pharaoh’s pursuing army. A huddled mass saved by a tectonic phenomenon from a snarling hoard; this was truly a great miracle.

We now face a new turbulent Red Sea; a sea of red ink.  The world is engulfed in an economic crisis, and it is affecting the foundation of our lives.  We are wondering how we, who work hard for our money, and provide for our families, are now ensnared in a situation that is out of our control.  Once again, we have become enslaved to riches that are in the hands of others.

We are slaves to the gods of greed.  Our banking, and financial institutions,  became addicted to inflated growth. No longer satisfied with the accumulated wealth, they concocted bigger investment schemes with far greater risks. New ways were devised to milk more money from the "Golden Calf," and they succeeded…for a time.

These magnificent gains were built on a sea of red.  Our entire economy  gambled on the accumulated debt of homeowners, investors, and consumers, which were bundled, and sold, to the highest bidder. In the hunt for fresh “product” people were permitted, and often lured, into taking on more debt than they could afford.  The inevitable collapse came when the housing bubble burst, and homeowners began to default on their financial obligations.

How will we ever manage to get to the other side of this new "Red Sea?"  There is no Pharaoh chasing us, and we have all been reduced, to one degree or another, to the level of slave. One great mass of humanity searching for a pathway to the security we once new, and even took for granted.

Passover is a crossroad in a dilemma. When faced with death, or action, the Jewish people risked everything, and pulled together. They were willing to work together, make major sacrifices, and adjustments, to their lives. Under Moses’ guidance, they marched toward the sea, not knowing where their journey would take them.

Panic makes us want to grab what we can, and run, but Exodus was about saving an entire people. Only by saving each other can we truly save ourselves. As we look for an opening in the sea of our financial crisis, it’s important to look back, and make sure we are not leaving the weak, the poor, the aged, and the infirm behind.  We all deserve a piece of the American dream, that is so admired, and emulated the world over.

Unlike the Jews of ancient Egypt, we do not want to find ourselves floundering in the desert for forty years.  This disaster is an opportunity to refocus, and redefine, who we are as a people. Our recovery will take time, and those years can be put to use for building a better world, and for creating a closer knit, and more empathetic society.

During the flight from Egypt, and while the Jews wandered the desert, there were many occasions when Moses’ followers became disenchanted, and questioned whether this entire exodus was such a wise course. Rough patches occurred on their way to the Promised Land, and yet, with each set-back, a new miracle, or remedy, was discovered.  Our ancestor’s problems were not solved overnight, so we must be prepared for some set-backs in our recovery.

It is my sincere hope that when we meet these disappointments, instead of crying, and complaining, as occurred in the ancient desert, we do as Moses did, and find the water hidden in the rock, and the manna that is around us in the world. We must never lose faith that by sticking together, and trusting, and caring, for each other, we will make it to the Promised Land. After having endured the matzoh-like flatness of our economy, we will see the bread of prosperity rise before our eyes.


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