What Will Your Seder Mean To You?

I’ve been anticipating the arrival of Passover for about a month. So why am I still shopping for matzah meal and eggs? My seder guests will be assured that everything is fresh…

This year more than most, I’ve reflected on the deeper meanings that undergird the Exodus story. It’s one of those Hillel moments: If not now, when?

We are so lucky, as Americans and as Jews, to live in a place that provides such freedom. Our choices are so varied and so plentiful. Just contemplating what life might be like were we to lose even a fraction of those rights is so unbearable – but not unimaginable.

We must extrapolate from that thought of just how precious our basic rights are to acknowledge how many people have no basic rights. As we sit at our Seders it would be sinful not to pause and say this out loud. It would be shirking our responsibility as Jews were we not to balance our gratitude with a sense of a moral calling.

What follows are a few links to websites with some inspiring supplements for your Passover seder. As good as the meal may be, the sweetest part is always the connection between everyone at the table. In this case, the connecting theme is that none of are free until all of us are free.

We do a lot of eating and laughing and loving at our Passover seder. And we also make a lot of promises about what we might want to do to make a difference. I’d like to suggest a few things you might consider proposing to your seder guests.

  1. Click this link. It will lead you to a Youcaring website featuring Jennifer Pilalas, a wonderful young woman who is going to a Greek island next week to help refugees who have ended up there and now have no place else to go. We met her at TBA last Sunday. She was in the audience to hear Dima Basha speak about her life as a Syrian refugee. Money to Jennifer will help her purchase food and medical supplies and clothing. It would be a good thing to help her out.
  2. Click this link to find some great readings to add to your seder from American Jewish World Service. They do invaluable work.
  3. Click this link for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, an organization that has worked very hard to help all refugees from all over the world to make a better life. They have a few great readings for your seder as well.
  4. Commit to checking out what’s going on with our temple’s domestic violence social justice work. Ask what you can do to make a difference in helping free people enslaved by fear and tyranny – in their own homes.

We celebrate our liberation and redemption on Monday night. How can we extend a hand to those who struggle for freedom? For justice? For human rights and dignity?

Have a sweet and memorable Passover. And remember, the theme this year is: none of are free until all of us are free.

Shabbat Shalom and a zissen Pesach,



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