Tonight Jews will sit down to the Seder meal. The service at the table will try to bring about order out of the chaos of slavery. The story of the Exodus is nothing short of a creation story. It is the creation of the Jewish people. The word Seder means order. And while there is a fixed order to the ceremony, we are trying to make sense of that which was senseless. The challenge of slavery never makes sense.
This is not an abstract discussion. Oh we might not be building the fortress cities of Egypt now-but there is still slavery in the world. Sometimes right here in Los Angeles. The sweat shops downtown that pay for piece work to be done while locking the doors is no better than what happened at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory back in 1911.
There is human trafficking world wide. Whether here in the states or in the former Soviet Union or Africa. Slavery still exists and is used to intimidate and promote the sex trade world-wide.
In June of 2010 the U.S. was ranked for the first time in the annual Report–Trafficking in Persons. There are three categories or tiers of countries. This from the website: www.humantrafficking.org : “A Tier 1 ranking indicates that a state government has recognized the problem of human trafficking, has made efforts to address the issue, and meets the TVPA’s (Torture Victim Protection Act) minimum standards. A country with a Tier 2 rating has not met the standards but has made efforts to do so, while a Tier 3 rating means the country has not met the minimum standards and has not attempted to do so. The United States received a Tier 1 rating.”
Human trafficking is a problem in many countries. It doesn’t see the light of day though. This year as you recite the plagues–remember that a contemporary plague is this one of human trafficking.