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Exodus: The Iron Cage of Power

A Hasidic teaching suggests that power, rather than bringing about liberation, achieves just the opposite.
Dr. Shaul Magid is a Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. He is a Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, where he teaches Jewish Studies and Religion, rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue in Sea View, NY, contributing editor to Tablet Magazine and editor of Jewish Thought and Culture at Tikkun Magazine. He is also a member of the American Academy for Jewish Research. Shaul received

“This week we begin reading the Book of Exodus, which tells the story of the Jewish liberation from Egyptian bondage and the establishment of a covenant with God. The story is often told in a linear fashion, moving from darkness to light, from servitude to salvation. But the Hasidic master Rabbi Mordechai Leiner of Izbica sees it a bit differently.”

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