Search Library

Song: Go Down Moses

Song: Go Down Moses

Clip Featured in Jews for Racial and Economic Justice's

Do we all truly know that Black lives matter?

Go Down Moses is a Negro Spiritual, originally sung by enslaved Africans in the American South. It describes the Exodus story and so it has become common for Jews to sing it during the Seder. As we use the beautiful songs of Black people to enrich our Jewish traditions, Evan Traylor asks you to reflect on what it means to sing a song of freedom when so many are not free.

On this Passover, as we remind ourselves of the preciousness of freedom, let us be reminded that we are not all free. Black people in the United States continue to suffer from oppression. And while Black people are not physically enslaved as during the dark part of our nation’s history, they still suffer from education inequality, mass incarceration, police brutality, and other forms of both blatant and subtle racism.

Do we all truly know that Black lives matter?

Just as during the Exodus story, may all of us have the leadership of Moses, the spirit of Miriam, and the undying courage of Nachshon to stand with Black people and ensure that everyone knows and believes that Black lives matter. Just as the Israelites did not turn back from the Red Sea, we must not turn back from the enormous challenges that are wounding and killing Black people in the United States. Mirroring the Israelites crossing the Red Sea with danger at their backs, we too must join hands, face the challenges, and overcome. Through faith and fellowship, we shall overcome.