Rabbi Peter Hyman gives a message during the Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Service on Monday, Jan. 18, at the Temple B’nai Israel.
By SARAH DRURY firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 3:00 pm | Updated: 10:04 am, Wed Jan 20, 2016.
EASTON — The Temple B’nai Israel held a special “Worshipping with Martin: A Community Interfaith Service” on Monday, Jan. 18, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which included music from local congregations, readings from Scripture and readings of some of King’s speeches.
The celebration took place at 7 p.m. and featured numerous speakers such as Rabbi Peter Hyman, President of NAACP Talbot County Branch Richard Potter, President of the Talbot County Association of Clergy and Laity Bishop Joel Marcus Johnson and more.
Members of the Union Baptist Church were also present to perform numerous musical selections. “It is no small task to speak with the community on this day,” said Rabbi Hyman. “We celebrate the birth, the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For this is a day of conscience and memory and on this day history and hope converge.”
Many of the speakers chose to recite portions from some of King’s speeches and quotes from publications like “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,””The Drum Major Instinct” and “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”
Johnson also read aloud the poem “Human Family,” written by Maya Angelou, as a reminder of how people are more alike than they are different. “Today our pain-filled past is measured against the promise of our progress,” Hyman said The rabbi said the challenge and burden of Martin Luther King Jr. Day remains pressing and present in everyone’s lives because of those who cling to prejudices from the past. He said eventually they will be overtaken and defeated.
In the middle of the program Hyman discussed King’s vision and dream. He brought up the book of Genesis, chapter 28 which is a story about the patriarch Jacob. The story of Jacob revolves him setting out for Haran, stopping for the night on his way to sleep and making a pillow of rocks. There he had a dream about angels climbing a ladder that connected heaven to Earth and when he woke up he called the place holy. Hyman compared Jacob waking up on a pile of rocks and still believing that God was present to King waking up in an Alabama prison and still wanting to work to make his dream come to life. “How do you go to sleep sweltering with the heat of injustice and wake up believing that some day our nation will judge us not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character?” Rabbi Hyman said. His answer was that it does not matter where you place your head, but where you place your heart.
Toward the end of the program the Rev. Dr. William Wallace Sr. presented a list of quotes from other voices like Muhammad Ali, H.G. Wells, Mother Teresa and more. The program concluded with the reading of the “Birmingham Pledge,” a closing hymn and closing benediction. All attendees were then invited down to the social hall for fellowship and refreshments.