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January 22, 2018 by

We Will All Go, Parashat Bo:
Women’s March 2018

These winter weeks, in our Torah, we read the story of our people’s liberation from Egypt; the triumphs and setbacks, the twists and turns. This Shabbat, in Parashat Bo, after many asks of “Let our people go!,” as locust swarm all around, frozen-hearted Pharaoh calls Moses and Aaron back to the palace.  

He says to them – “Alright already. Go. Go worship your God.” 
And then he asks, “But who are the ones who will go? 
Moses responds, “We will all go. We will go with our young and our old: We will go with our sons and our daughters. We will go with our flocks and our herds.” 
All of us. We will all go. We will leave no one behind.

And like so many Pharaohs we know who try to hold onto power by tearing others apart, Pharaoh won’t have it. 

Moses and Aaron insist,
We will all go.
They know that this is the key to liberation.
As the Jewish woman poet, Emma Lazarus wrote,
“Until we all are free, we are none of us free.”

Until we all are free, we are none of us free.
We have so much work to do
in our communities, our city, our country, our world
plagued by sexism, racism and classism,
by patriarchy, Anti-Semitism and white supremacy;
forces that splinter, sicken and scar
body, mind and heart.
And so we march, today, in this Women’s March
crying, “Me too” and “We too” and “Never Again.”
We march for those who are still here,
those who have died,
those who are yet to be alive.
We march, survivors, praying:
“Please, God, don’t let us leave anyone behind.”

We must all go out of mitzrayim!
Until we all are free, we are none of us free.

This morning I’m holding how very hard it is to get there.
Today, there are many women of color and trans-women who feel unseen, unheard and unsafe marching because of police protocols and the violence they have experienced through the system of policing.
Their lives and voices matter.
As we march today, let’s hold each other close,
those who are here and those who are not here,
All of us made in the image of God,
worthy of dignity and life, equity and power.

Let’s commit to doing the real relational and organizing work
for a day when we can all march together to freedom,
Women and men, transgender and non-binary people,
black, brown and white,
young and old
queer and straight,
Native Americans, immigrants, refugees and dreamers,
from Haiti and Nigeria, Mexico, El Salvador, Korea and Syria,
Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh,
of all classes and abilities and creeds.
We will all go!
We cannot leave anyone behind in this struggle for women’s rights,
and civil rights and human rights,
in our push to heal our Mother earth,
her waters, trees and air,
all vulnerable beings everywhere.
Today we answer this call
to break open the gates of justice for all,

So the next time a Pharaoh asks us,
“Who are the ones who will go?”
We can say, “We will all go.
Until we all are free, we are none of us free.
And until that day, we are here to stay!”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Lilith Magazine.