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Pesach, Milei and the Law

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Pesach, Milei and the Law

Within that great piece of literature that is the Torah, in chapter Empire of the Egyptians: the one where the children will die “from the firstborn of Pharaoh to that of the maidservant and that of the beast”peak point in the bitter dispute for the liberation of the Israelites.

In chapter XII, the divine sentence already decreed and prior to its execution, the Eternal speaks to indicate the origin of a new calendar, because that moment will be considered the first month of the year; and it says that “the children of Israel” must sacrifice a lamb for each family, roast it over the fire and eat it accompanied by bitter herbs and unleavened bread (unleavened matzah). And he explains that everything must be hastened “because this is the Passover of the Lord”: We attended the celebration of the first Pesach in history. Immediately, the voice of YHVH orders the Hebrews, through Moses, to use the blood of the sacrificed animals to mark the front of their houses, so that the slaughter that is about to happen will not affect their own. Next, Moses announces a series of restrictions and regulations to be followed forever, because it will be necessary to “remember this day, on which you left Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

Indeed, after the misfortune inflicted by his repeated refusal to let them go, Pharaoh raises the barriers and “the children of Israel” leave for the Promised Land, but first they must endure the Desert. There, in the midst of a shortage of water and food, the people “murmur” against Moses. “It would have been better to die by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt” they whisper, quickly fed up with the restrictions implied in the freedom they had just obtained. Moses climbs Mount Sinai and receives the Ten Commandments from YHVH. Low. Go back up. And he remains at the summits for 40 days and 40 nights in which the Eternal transmits to him, in great detail, a large number of complementary regulations, a sort of incipient civil, commercial and criminal code for the brand new nomadic nation, and gives him the Tables of the Law. Meanwhile the people, desperate from waiting so long, convince Aaron – Moses’ older brother – to authorize the construction of a Golden Calf, so that they can worship it in place of YHVH and thus end their short patience with the Law and with the invisible god: return to the archaic, to the tempting shine of the gold metal, to the beliefs that they were ordered to leave behind along with slavery.

Authoritarians don’t like this

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The practice of professional and critical journalism is a fundamental pillar of democracy. That is why it bothers those who believe they are the owners of the truth.

In an interview given on 04-14-24 in the United States to journalist Ben Schapiro, while justifying his unrestricted support for the current Israeli government, President Javier Milei said that “without a doubt the greatest hero of freedom of all time is Moses”, that “the day you read about Moses you become a Taliban of freedom”, that “the ideas of freedom are in the United States, even though in recent times they have been degraded and have strayed from the path”, and that “Those ideas are still in Europe, when they are crammed with regulations that keep them stagnant. But above all, those values ​​are in Israel,” which is why “it is very important to understand the link of freedom with Israel.”

Faced with this cataract of statements about such arduous, important and profound matters, which the current Argentine president throws into the microphone without much rigor, it is worth asking some questions: what kind of “freedom” is Moisés a hero of? Why is he? Someone who preaches against all social regulation claims at the same time the figure of a leader who – with the support of the Eternal – dedicated himself precisely to establishing the laws, rules and norms that found their maximum expression in the Tables of the Law? If “social justice” is, in Milei’s words, nothing more than an “aberration,” how does one explain his enthusiasm for an emancipatory political movement that for the first time in history granted rights to a vast mass of slaves?

On the other hand, its admired current ruler of Israel, who came to power three decades ago after a double crime (the assassination of Isaac Rabin and the Peace of Oslo), who militarily subjugates a neighboring people, who imposes on Israelis themselves innumerable restrictions derived from such subjugation, and that since the horrendous attack of October 7, 2023, it applies a massacre in Gaza that deviates from all international regulations, Is he honoring that “freedom” biased by the Law that Moses invokes in the Desert, or is he closer to the despotic “freedom” with which the Pharaoh ruled over the life and death of the Hebrews?

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The answer to so many questions seems to lead us to an unavoidable knot: the “freedom” that Milei defends is not what is preached in the Torah, but its opposite. What this president maintains is the whimsical “freedom” of “I do whatever I want.”, of power – very far from any search for social harmony, Justice, and of course, the Tables of the Law to dominate the weak through the brute force of the strong. It is also the “freedom” of the impatient people who built the Golden Calf, causing Moses’ angry destruction of the first version of those Tablets.

In these days of Pesach, when we celebrate and praise the liberating feat of the Hebrew people (humanity’s first social revolution), It seems important to remind Milei and the recipients of his sayings of at least one of the Commandments: “You will not pronounce the Name of the Eternal in vain, because the Eternal will not tolerate His Name being invoked falsely.” (Exodus XX, 7)

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