"Until 1968 (when I was 34), Judaism had played a small part in my life.
I was a secular political activist. In 1968, after Martin Luther King
was murdered and parts of the black community of Washington (where I lived)
rose in rebellion, Pres. Johnson sent the Army into the city
(some units were bivouacked at my children's public school), a curfew was
imposed, and thousands of blacks were arrested. (The police ignored whites
who were on the streets.) I was deeply involved in getting food,
medical supplies, etc into the black community from the white suburbs, and then,
about 10 days after the murder, came Passover -- the one Jewish life-moment I had
treated seriously. I walked home to prepare the Seder past detachments of the Army,
with an armored car mounting a machine gun pointed at my block. I began to feel,
"This is Pharaoh's army!" The Haggadah came alive, the streets became part of the
great drama of Jewish history and religion, and I came alive to Judaism."