April 2, 2007


Passover starts in a few minutes. The short version -- two minutes -- of the Haggadah is here. It is a story about being strangers in a land and an escape from slavery. You can read a longer version by clicking on the picture.

From the Open Source Haggadah

Even as we remember tonight what it was like when we were slaves in the land of Egypt; even as we think of our Jewish brothers and sisters who are still enslaved in various lands and places, so do we tonight remember people (whether they are Jews or not) who still suffer from slavery, hunger, and/or repression.

Again this year, as during the Exodus, we unite with the oppressed of our time:
* The Palestinian people, whose destiny is so tragically intertwine with our own. And those Israeli people who are striving for peace amidst threats of destruction.
* The black population of South Africa.
* The people of China, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
* American Indians and indigenous peoples of Central and South America.
* All those who are oppressed because of their gender or sexual preference.
* All refugees.
* All those who are imprisoned for belies or practices which do others no harm.

Ever since we were slaves in Egypt, we have united with all those who strive TO BE, who seek liberation and freedom.

Then the third glass of wine, of course.

The Jewish Fund for Justice gives us this supplement to prompt thought and compassion. Go read it all.

The story of the Jewish people’s transition from protected outsiders to slaves serves as a cautionary tale about the tendency of all societies to oppress gerim—the vulnerable strangers in their midst. On multiple occasions, the Torah explains a humanitarian law by commenting, “for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Our experience of otherness compels us to create societies that protect newcomers from harm.


This spring, Congress will resume discussions about a comprehensive immigration bill. Immigration advocates hope that this legislation will provide for a realistic number of visas for those who wish to enter the United States, allow those here illegally to apply to legalize their status, and speed up the process of receiving visas to reunite with family members already in the United States.


Lisa McMann said...

Thanks for the informative read, Sasha.

Puffy said...

I hope you had a nice Pesach. Thank goodness for those big Kosher-for-Passover huge chocolate-covered macaroons. Did your matzo balls sink or swim this year?

Sasha said...

I had a lovely Pesach. And I ate other people's matzo balls :)