As we gather at Seder tables tonight, we in the Beth Elohim community join with the entire Jewish people around the world in recounting the ancient words of our tradition which ask of us to see ourselves as if tonight we will be freed from the cruel bondage of slavery and delivered to a life of freedom and justice. This call to history, to battle the forces of injustice that still exist today and to bring light and kindness to all who seek it, makes Passover the true Festival of Freedom to all with whom we share this experience.
The Sages teach us that at Passover time we are obligated to recount our journey from Egypt to the Promised Land; but we are also enjoined to tell personal stories, family stories, journeys that have inspired and sustained us from generation to generation, until today.
Our experience in Egypt more than three thousand years ago taught us to hear the God of the Prophets and to always be attentive to those who suffer--the homeless, the hungry, those still oppressed, the widowed and the orphaned. In addition, our experience throughout the ages has taught us that in the words of the Yiddish proverb, "troubles overcome are good to tell." Our remarkable resiliency as a people owes its miraculous existence to our ability to tell a good story, to draw meaning from the simplest of life's experiences, and to pass those stories on, to another generation that will recall them.
So when we lift that First Cup at the Seder tonight, let's rededicate ourselves to memories both ancient and recent--both of which inspire us to build a world of justice, kindness, and meaning.
May each of you be blessed in this Festival of Freedom!
Rabbi Andy Bachman, Senior Rabbi
David P. Kasakove, President
Elana Paru, Executive Director