This Passover 2011, Remember — It’s Not Your Religion That Matters, But Your Humanity

Happy Passover to our Jewish readers.

It’s Passover 2011, or, in the Jewish calendar, I think it’s Passover 5771.

This is the time of year when Jews around the world celebrate their freedom from bondage in Egypt with the commemorative seder and Passover meal.

Think about Moses all those years ago, trying to convince the Egyptian Pharaoh to “let my people go.”  Then all those plagues such as blood, frogs, vermin, slaying of the first born…

It took a lot for Pharaoh to finally let the Hebrews go, and even then, he still chased after them, necessitating the parting of the Red Sea so that the Hebrews could cross to safety.

There were wanderings, new beginnings, divisions, and some heartache, but in the end, the destination was reached.

There is one part of the meal that really stands out to me.  It is during the recounting of the plagues — when Jews count down the Ten Plagues during the seder.  A drop of wine is spilled with each recitation in memory of those who suffered in Egypt…not the Jews, but the Egyptians.

I guess it’s a solemn reminder that when blood of any kind is spilled, we all lose a little something.  Then, it is important to remember that when there are those in bondage around the world, we ourselves (no matter our religion) are in some way in bondage.

Jewish or not, matzah-lover (matzo-lover) or not, remember Passover 2011 / Passover 5771.  Work toward justice, strive for freedom, and remember those who may not be so lucky or fortunate.

Passover isn’t just about a meal.  It’s about the whole human race.

Happy Passover 2011 / Passover 5771.

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2 responses to “This Passover 2011, Remember — It’s Not Your Religion That Matters, But Your Humanity

  1. I’ve never thought about passover that way. I think it’s really interesting that although most Jewish Holidays are based on the idea of “[insert group here] tried to kill us and we prevailed”, we’re never really spiteful. I think that’s a good philosophy to have about everything in life. If someone tries to take you down (whether emotionally, physically, mentally, whatever), it’s important to not hold a grudge and say, “This happened, I’m still here. I’ll forgive you but I won’t forget you.”

    I think that’s a nice way to look at things and flip every tragedy into a celebration.

    • @LOLA: Bravo! Couldn’t have said it better myself. The strength we should probably draw from holidays of any religion is the idea that in holiday ritual, we often foster memory and celebration (even in a solemn ritual, there is often a core of hope). I think the Jewish Passover is a good example of that. There is memory, tears, laughter, education, joy, and food, and the message of freedom comes down to followers of the Jewish faith as something empowering.

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