Human slavery is one of the biggest issues facing social-justice movements today. Every year around the Passover table we recount the story of our own experience with slavery by retelling the exodus from Egypt: “We were once slaves but now we are free.” Sometimes that story can feel very distant. After all, that was thousands of years ago.
We easily forget that others are still held captive and forced into slavery around the world today. In the modern world, hundreds and thousands of people are held captive and forced into slavery. The Thorn organization reports the number to be as high as 27 million people.
In 2009, famous actor Ashton Kutcher founded the Thorn Technology Task Force in partnership with Demi Moore. Thorn is an organization which fights human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. Thorn’s work has been substantial in not only raising awareness about human slavery but actually raiding slavery hubs, rescuing young girls and boys from sex trafficking, and offering safe-houses around the world for those who escape their captors.
Why is a famous Hollywood actor so involved in this mission? Kutcher spent several years studying Jewish mysticism before marrying his costar from That Seventies Show, Mila Kunis. Kunis is Jewish, and Kutcher credits Judaism as a source of inspiration for his work with Thorn. In a recent closing statement to Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding his work with Thorn, Kutcher quoted Hillel’s summary of the Torah: “Love thy neighbor as thyself. Anything else is just commentary.”
Hillel’s teaching was echoed by the Master when he said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).
The work being done by Ashton Kutcher and the members of Thorn is, according to the words of Hillel and Yeshua, of the most important kind. As followers of Yeshua, we should also respond to the needs of others and strive to love our neighbors as ourselves. This week 12-21 joins with Thorn and their End It Movement <https://enditmovement.com> by helping raise awareness on human slavery. If you would like to join us and be a part of this important mission, make a statement by drawing a red X on the back of your hand, this Thursday, Feb. 23 (2017).
When people ask you what the red X is all about, tell them about the End It Movement. Explain that, as a disciple of Yeshua, you want to put an end to the captivity of the innocent. Once we were slaves in Egypt, now we are free, and we hope to help others find freedom by showing them the love of our Master.
On the Thorn website, www.wearethorn.org, you will find ways to contribute to their work and to aid them in their efforts to end human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. Don’t forget to join us tomorrow on social media in support of End It Movement!