26/27 April 2024, 19 Nisan 5784

Passover always reminds me why I am a religious person: to be part of a tradition that calls on us to show up and mark time together by sharing ritual, prayers, food and values.

During the Seder and this ‘season of freedom,’ we will retell our story: that’s literally the meaning of Haggadah. This is a story so central to our tradition that it informs our Judaism and our Jewish expression.  We recall that we have lived through generations of suffering and that we know liberation. It’s an energetic remembering, because in every generation, it means something particular to the moment in which we live. We are called to radical empathy at Passover, as the writer Jonathan Safran-Foer describes. This year, the seder and its words freedom, liberation and oppression will have many more layers of meaning for those of us who sit round the table.

I imagine each of us in our own way will manage the commandment:

In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see themself as if they [personally] left Egypt. (Exodus 13:8)

I want to wish everyone a meaningful and inspiring Passover. I hope your charoset is sweet, your Seder plates full and that you and your guests come to the table tonight, and at FPS tomorrow, with a tender and open heart to all of the questions and remembering that we will do this year.