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A New Lens on the 10 Plagues

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New Lens on the 10 Plagues

On Passover, we are commanded to re-tell the story of Jewish liberation from slavery.  One of the most dramatic parts of the story is the ten plagues.  To free our people, G-d sent the plagues to Pharaoh as reminders of all the injustice happening during his rule.  As we think about about justice and liberation today, what are some of the “plagues” that remind us that even today not everyone is free?  We asked three Research Training Interns to think about what are some of the modern plagues they observe in society today.

Political polarization is a modern plague because it forces individuals to take one side on an issue and does not allow for compromises.  Social and political divides are being created and perpetuated due to the idea that people can only take one extreme side of an issue rather than meeting somewhere in the middle.”  -- Sara Grostern

Social media is a modern-day plague.  It creates unrealistic standards of perfection that negatively affects so many people, primarily young people.  Climate change is also a modern plague because it destroying the world as we know it.   Climate change disproportionately affects people of color, women, people living in poverty, and indigenous people.  Although it is still such a major issue, many people are blind to its effects.” – Gwen Tucker

Internalized racism is a modern-day plagues because of the ignorance towards it.  People internalize stereotypes and unconsciously apply them into their lives, causing racial inequity.”  -- Ellie Goldsmith

What would you name as a modern plague?  Think about these and other pressing social justice issues with other teen girls and non-binary teens in the Research Training Internship – a 10 month feminist research internship exploring social justice issues in Chicago.  Applications for cohort 6 are now open.  Learn more and apply here.  Please contact Beckee Birger, Program Director, at with questions.