Rabbi Ron Symons on March 27, 2018
Each and every year when we pull our wine stained haggadot off of the shelf and place them on our beautifully set Passover tables, we have two options.
The first is the basic plan: Read through the haggadah, go through the rituals, eat the symbolic foods because this is the way that we have done it for years and we think that we should just maintain tradition. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going through the rituals because we like rituals and we want to make sure that we are doing things right – the way that we have been doing them for years in our nuclear family, generations in our extended family and millennia in our community.
The second is the personalized plan: Take to heart the mandate in the haggadah, “In every generation, each person is supposed to see him/herself as if he/she actually left Egypt.” This personalized plan forces us to time travel not just back to the days of Egyptian slavery some 3,200 years ago but also to the moments of slavery and strife ever since. More importantly, though, it is not that we have to time travel, rather, the haggadah, rituals and foods have to time travel with us so that we can transpose them from the story of previous generations to the motivations of this generation to fight against the oppressions that surround us.
As you can imagine, if you know me at all, I prefer the second option. It is the option that makes Jewish tradition rich with meaning and relevance for our 21st century world while infusing time honored traditions with social justice import.
Oh how I wish it was difficult to find the oppressions of 2018 to apply to this Passover time travel experiment. But, you and I know all too well, that the oppressions are happening all around us. And so, with hopes that you will join me in this second option, I share with you some of the most meaningful Passover supplements published by issues-based organizations to help all of us allow the seder to get us ‘in order’ and to be our inspiration to change the world around us. Please feel free to pick and choose from this vast array of meaningful interpretations in order to help your co-travelers journey from slavery to freedom, from oppression to peace, in 2018.
Wishing you a meaningful Passover that inspires you to break the bonds of slavery that still exist today.
For information about Passover, Rabbi Symons provides the following:
Hosting a Passover Seder
Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat
What to Expect at a Passover Seder
(Image source: Chabad.org)