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The Bible and Presidential Candidates

While elections are still some time away, I thought that this was a nice use of the Bible by Barack Obama during a speech at Howard University. (via Andrew Sullivan)

And I finally ask you to remember the story of Moses and Joshua, I spoke about this when I was in Selma, the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Most of you know that Moses was called by God to lead his people to the promised land. And in the face of a pharaoh and his armies, across an unforgiving desert and along the walls of an angry sea, he succeeded in leading his people out of bondage in Egypt. He led them through great dangers and they got far enough so that Moses could point the way toward freedom on the far banks of the river Jordan. Yet it was not God’s plan to have Moses cross the river. Instead he would call on Joshua to finish the work that Moses began. He would ask Joshua to take his people that final distance. Everyone in this room stands on the shoulders of many Moseses. Many Moseses fought and battled here at Howard University. They are courageous men and women who marched and fought and bled for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. They have taken us many miles over an impossible journey.

And to the young people here: you are members of the Joshua Generation. It is up to you to finish the work that they began. it is up to you to cross the river. When Joshua discovered the challenge he faced he had doubts and he had worries. He told God: ‘Don’t choose me, I’m not strong enough, I’m not wise enough; I don’t have the training; I don’t have enough experience.’ God told Joshua not to fear; he said ‘Be strong and have courage, for I am with you wherever you go.’ Be strong and have courage. Be strong and have courage in the face of anything. Be strong and have courage and we will cross over into that promised land together. Thank you.”

Moadim leSimha.

One Response to “The Bible and Presidential Candidates”

  1. 1
    neil fleischmann:

    Yes, I think this is a good application of Torah – a good drasha/mussar talk, as it were. It reminded me of the saying about seeing further from the shoulders of giants (something that S. Leiman researched and discussed maybe or maybe not being a Jewishly rooted phrase).

    Nice blog and great to have met you!

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