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Rabbi and Rebbetzin Corner June 2024

Rabbi and Rebbetzin Corner June 2024

By Eric Carlson on June 1, 2024

Shalom Mishpocah,

June, the sixth month of the year (we are halfway through the year) and the first month of summer is here! June has 30 days and is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of youth and protection. Her name (Latin Iūnō) comes from the root word for “young” (Iuuen) and goes back to the idea of vital energy and fertility. The Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, occurs on Thursday, June 20th, 2024, at 4:50 pm EDT.

Monday, June 10th, 2024, is Flag Day! Flag Day is a celebration of the adoption of the American flag by Continental Congress in the First Flag Resolution of June 14, 1777. Although the 200-year anniversary of this date was celebrated by flying flags on public buildings and holding remembrances in several cities, Flag Day wasn’t officially recognized until President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1949. To observe Flag Day, fly your American flag! Sunday June 16th, 2024 is both Shavuot and Fathers Day! What a glorious day to honor our Abba Father, the giving of the Torah, and the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)!

Wednesday June 19th celebrates Juneteenth! Juneteenth commemorates the dates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the Confederate state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. On June 19, 1865, while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

This day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name coming from a portmanteau of the words June and teenth like nineteenth and other numbers ending with –teenth. The North’s victory brought an end to both the Civil war and the scourge of slavery. This national conflict resulted in three addendums to the Freedom document, the Bill of Rights. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment gave equal citizenship to every human being born in this country regardless of race, granting the full rights and protection of the U.S. Constitution, and the 15th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote for all citizens regardless of race or previous condition of servitude. Unfortunately, these amendments weren’t kept or honored for over 100 years causing great oppression, pain, and suffering!

Legalized slavery stopped in 1865 with the defeat to the Confederacy, but the end of slavery still hasn’t effectively come to pass even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, 99 years later. At the end of the Civil War there was no closure, the enemy wasn’t defeated, the threat of a return to slavery was real and prevalent. President Lincoln, a man of God, had a plan to give 40 acres of land and a mule to every former slave family, but he was assassinated before his plan could be implemented!

Instead, Jim Crow laws were instituted in the 1880’s as the reconstruction period ended in 1879. In 1890 Separate but Equal legislation was passed by all southern state legislatures. In the 1870’s the former slave owners gradually regained power in the Southern legislatures, having used insurgent paramilitary groups, such as the KKK, the White League and Red Shirts, to disrupt black political organizing, run officeholders out of town, and intimidate blacks to suppress their voting.

In just 20 years after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, all blacks were effectively returned to slavery. Slavery had new names: “Share-Croppers” “Segregation” “Separate but Equal” “Jim Crow” but the effects were identical. Slavery in America has yet to have a closure, a transition or transformation into freedom and liberty. It’s the “Pink Elephant” sitting in the middle of our Republic that no one desires to discuss or talk about! The modern welfare institution is still a form of slavery and suppression as is the Bureau of Indians Affairs and the reservation system for our Native, Indigenous brothers and sisters! As Messianic Jews we must not only be involved, but we must also lead! The Messianic Movement must lead, and the Church must break its silence on this! We are commanded to be a voice for the voiceless. We are surrounded by the oppressed, the persecuted, and voiceless. We are commanded to be an advocate; The greater body of Messiah’s silence on this is deafening, Silence is a sin! Silence equates to complicity!

The only way we will conquer, and defeat racism, prejudice, and Anti-Semitism is through focused intentionality, active dialogue, relationship, fellowship, and the Blood of Yeshua coupled with the Holy Spirit! Racism and prejudice are taught, not inherited! It won’t just go away! That which was taught can be untaught! In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”

May we pause this June 19th to consider what this day represents and what we can do to move forward! Let us strive to have relationship with intentionality! Solidarity requires relationship, let us strive to be echad, one!

Shalom and Blessings,
Rabbi and Rebbetzin Carlson