In March, I found myself in Springfield, Ill., for National Guard duty. Having a couple hours off in between military obligations, I decided to visit President Lincoln’s tomb.
As I entered the tomb, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of patriotism and pride both as an American and as a Jew.
It is no accident as to why so many Jews have called Abraham Lincoln “the American Moses”.
Buried in this incredible monument was the man who changed our country for the better. He showed us what we were capable of accomplishing and who we were capable of being.
Weeping softly, I offered the only thanks and homage I could to this great man. Kaddish Yatom — the mourner’s kaddish.
It is no accident as to why so many Jews have called Abraham Lincoln “the America Moses”.
In eulogizing the fallen president in 1865, Rabbi Samuel Adler proclaimed: “Abraham Lincoln has not fallen. He is lost to us but he is as Light and an angel with his Father and remains with us in memory and adoration and will so remain forever”.
As we celebrate Pesach, we are obligated to fight for the freedom of all those who are oppressed and in bondage.
Rabbi M. R. Deleeuw added: “Abraham Lincoln! That name … will ever be coupled with a blessing, words of sympathy and sweet remembrance in every household; to the world it will prove a watchword, a tower of strength for men to rally around, to move them to combat manfully for right.”
As we celebrate Pesach, the commemoration of our liberation from slavery, we are obligated to fight for the freedom of all those who are oppressed and in bondage. In this noble struggle, Moses is our role model as Jews and Abraham is our role model as Americans!
Student Rabbi Aaron Rozovsky will serve UHC Terre Haute throughout the 2016-17 academic year.
Photo credit: Daveblog.