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Passover Theme is "Inclusion...and Hope"

From Rabbi Geoff...  

At the beginning of the Seder we declare, "All who are hungry, come and eat; all who are needy come and celebrate Passover."  This speaks to the paradox of commemorating and celebrating something of our particular narrative yet keeping an eye on the universal, the "all."  It's not just about food, special and symbolic foods, or even "food for thought."  It goes beyond mere hospitality, though that is a major component of our tradition.  Rather, it deepens and elevates the notion of hospitality and commonality as core and fundamental aspects of the holiday, and of our humanity.  It says, to me, "No one is free until all of us are free."  The need is for togetherness.

With this recognition in mind -- that all of us are "needy" and Redemption is for everyone or no one -- we invite people to our table and into "our" story knowing that it isn't our story alone.  In fact, the original Exodus involved a "mixed multitude" of people for whom the aspirations of freedom and justice became a unifying identity and purpose. It is a starting point, not one to be calcified into "us" and "them," reinforcing the same old patterns of power and fear and separation. Rather, it's more like, "We're in this together" ("Israelite" and "Pharaoh" and everyone in between).

How do we encapsulate and ritualize and symbolize this longing and hope for freedom and justice for all? This year, let's direct our attention to the Cup of Elijah, the kos Eliyahu, and to the midwives.

Wed, December 13 2017 25 Kislev 5778