Shalom Snail is embarking on a novena of reflections on the year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25, and the meaning of liberty derived from it. This series was inspired by the inscription on the Liberty Bell at the Pennsylvania State House.
The Liberty Bell’s inscription is from the Bible (King James version): “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.” This verse refers to the “Jubilee”, or the instructions to the Israelites to return property and free slaves every 50 years. Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly Isaac Norris chose this inscription for the State House bell in 1751, possibly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges which granted religious liberties and political self-government to the people of Pennsylvania. The inscription of liberty on the State House bell (now known as the Liberty Bell) went unnoticed during the Revolutionary War. After the war, abolitionists seeking to end slavery in America were inspired by the bell’s message.National Park Service, Liberty Bell
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, gratitude for the freedoms won by the founders and veterans of the United States of America enkindles wonder about the universal principles that inspired them.