What is Passover?

Passover is the enduring testament to the power of possibility. It’s our job to make it meaningful.

Passover/Pesah is an opportunity for spiritual, social, and political transformation. The triumphant journey of the Israelites from slavery to liberation was not a one-time event that occurred thousands of years ago. From the story of the Exodus from Egypt emerges the most powerful claim of our tradition: the eternal possibility that we can move from slavery to freedom, from darkness to light, from degradation to dignity.

We know that none of us is free until all of us are free, but we cannot work toward liberation when we’re trapped in despair. This year, we offer some tangible pathways to awaken our ability to pursue justice and freedom– globally, locally, and in our own homes.

At Passover Seder, we retell a story so central to our Jewish tradition that it has informed who we are, and how we live in the world, for literally thousands of years. Ours is a story of a people that, after hundreds of years of harm and humiliation, were ultimately able to walk toward liberation. From degradation to dignity, from darkness to light. But how are we to approach Seder this year? Many of us come to the table holding grief, anguish, and fear. We are so raw. Words that for decades have given us comfort may tonight strike us as simplistic, cacophonous, or just empty. And for many, the Seder table will situate us in proximity to people we love, but whose perspectives may have created an emotional distance over the past six months that seems impossible to bridge. Every word is a potential landmine. (Oppression… whose oppression? Liberation… from whom? For whom? Justice…? Don’t get me started.)

Our clergy has prepared a supplement to help guide you through these brave and loving conversations this Passover.