The US Israel Nexus: The Abolitionist Movement Inspired by Moses

The legacy of Moses and the Exodus had a profound affect on the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements and the hopes of African slaves.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Martin Luther King Jr. Monument in Washington DC
Martin Luther King Jr. Monument in Washington DC
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2020 is the year that marks four centuries from the landing of the Mayflower on the shores of the New World in 1620, which was the beginning of a strong and profound bond between the American nation and the Jewish People and the State of Israel.

In honor of this event, Yoram Ettinger, a retired Israeli ambassador and an expert on the U.S. and the Middle East, and "Boomerang – Fighting for Israel" have created a unique project titled

This video is the 4th in a series of 9, displaying the unique bond between Israel and the U.S:

Chapter 4: The Abolitionist Movement inspired by Moses

“Go Down Moses, way down in Egypt land, tell old Pharaoh to let my people go” are the lyrics of the anti-slavery anthem of African slaves taken from the Biblical verses in the Book of Exodus.

The Bible, Moses, and the Israelite's Exodus provided African slaves in America with hope and strength. They prayed for their own Exodus, trusting that G-d opposed slavery in the US as he had opposed Jewish slavery in ancient Egypt.

The Colonists of early America were not the only ones who identified with the Bible and the Jewish People. Moses and the Biblical Exodus played a key role in the formation of the Abolitionist anti-slavery movement.

“Mama Moses” was the nickname for Harriet Tubman, an African Americanwoman born into slavery, who escaped in 1849. She initiated the Underground Railroad, which freed Black slaves through a network of secret routes and safe houses.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” assisted Mama Moses in running the Underground Railroad, and was very active in the Hebraist movement, which aimed to make Hebrew an official US language.

Martin Luther King, Jr., famed leader of the Civil Rights Movement based many of his sermons and speeches - including "I have a dream" - on Moses and the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt. He also quoted many verses from Psalms, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Amos.

His battle cry was Moses’ call to Pharaoh: “Let My People Go!”

President Abraham Lincoln was another activist for freedom. His study of the Bible bolstered his determination to abolish slavery. In his second inaugural address, he stated: “[The Bible] is the best gift God has given to man.... The rebirth of Israel as a nation-state is a noble dream, shared by many Americans…”

It was not until 1865, when the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, that all African slaves were freed to an exodus to their own.



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