Here are 2 readings I put together for this year’s seder. Feel free to use them at your own tables, or to pass them on.
Chag Kasher V’sameach!
Freedom and Slavery
Avadim hayinu. Once we were slaves in Egypt Ata v’nei chorin. And the Eternal took us out of that place.
With freedom comes responsibility. God brought us out of Egypt, but it is up to us to build the Promised Land. God created us in the Divine Image, but it is our job to create a society worthy of that image. God gave us freedom, but we must discover what that freedom means in our day.
Ata v’nei chorin – We will be truly free when we choose brotherhood and respect over hatred and fear.
Ata v’nei chorin – We will be truly free when we ensure that every person has access to basic health care.
Ata v’nei chorin – We will be truly free when no child sleeps without a roof over her head.Ata v’nei chorin – We will be truly free when we respect each other’s right to free speech; when we listen with open ears even to those with whom we do not agree.
Ata v’nei chorin – We will be truly free when we choose what is right over what is comfortable.
May we recognize the slavery that is still part of our lives, and begin to work together toward freedom.
Dayeinu for the Recession
Like our ancestor Joseph, we have known years of plenty and we have known lean years. Even as our country begins to emerge from recession, we in Charlotte find ourselves still in the midst of hard times. Yet the experience of these past years has changed us fundamentally. We have begun to realign our priorities, to reexamine what we hold most dear. The recession has taught us to appreciate what we have and helped us to understand how much we once took for granted.
Kama ma’alot tovot lamakom aleinu! How many gifts has God bestowed upon us!
If God had only given us our families and our loved ones… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us our friends and community, to whom we can turn in difficult times… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us a roof over our heads… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us a beautiful city; a city of trees and flowers that are bursting into bloom all around us… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us a world filled with natural beauty and man-made wonders… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us the freedom to be Jews, to worship and believe in accordance with our conscience and with our tradition… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us the drive to make the world a better place… Dayeinu!
If God had only given us the ability to make ourselves better people… Dayeinu!
Only a fraction of these blessings would have been enough, but God has given us all of this and more. For all that we have, we are thankful.