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Matzah and the Lessons of Freedom

Matzah and the Lessons of Freedom

Matzah, including crumbs and broken pieces

When you break the bread of affliction
And the crumbs make a mess
Pray for those with addiction
And those who live with less.

When the matzah snaps in two or three
Pause and acknowledge
Those not free
Our sisters and brothers who sacrifice for thee.

When the dry cracker smacks your lips
And your tongue is dry
Recall those who came to these shores by ship—
Those walked, wandered, and sough to fly.

As you chew the bread of grief and sorrow
And you feel the desert upon your tongue
Hold close those who work for a better tomorrow,
Who seek a better world for both old and young.

When you gulp down the matzah with serious intention
Close your eyes and open your heart—
We commit to those who need our attention,
For we all must do our part.

For freedom and memory and justice we imbibe
Dry bits of matzah so all may thrive.
This Pesach like all other we hope and we rise—
Hear our ancient call—we must do more than survive.

Egyptian slavery we left behind—
Narrowness and bigotry are not part of God’s plan.
So in the seder we recall and we all must remind:
We must challenge racism, we must take a stand.

We are called, every Jew
To stand for dignity and liberation—
For every person of every hue
For all of America, for every nation.

Be this our blessing with the matzah we taste
That we cry boldly for freedom and justice and equality.
Like our ancestors of old, not a minute to waste.
Chag Sameyach! For freedom, for dignity, for all humanity.

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz is the senior rabbi at Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis, MN.

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz
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