Michael Walzer once wrote, "Wherever you live, it is probably Egypt." Those of us who aren't oppressed live too close to oppression, or participate in oppression, or are otherwise indifferent to oppression. This Passover, when we tell the story of the Jewish people's journey from the slavery of Egypt to the freedom of Israel, pause for a moment to contemplate this miracle: This year, in Egypt, it isn't even Egypt. Pharaoh is under arrest, his sons are in jail, and the Egyptian people are groping their way to freedom. Next year, at Passover, let us hope that the Egyptian people will have succeeded in their struggle to make the word "Egypt" a synonym for freedom, and not enslavement. Let us hope that in Libya, and Syria, and Iran, freedom is close at hand. Let us hope that the Palestinian people find their way to freedom, too, and let us hope that by next year, the people of the Jewish state of Israel will have completed their journey from slavery to true freedom, a freedom that will grant them a permanent place under the sun.
It's the most effective anti-poverty program in U.S. history. So why do some people hate it?