If we are to heed the call of freedom that Passover offers us, we must not close our eyes to the degradation currently taking place right outside our door.
During this surreal period, many of us are trying hard to keep sadness and anxiety at bay, and that’s important. It's equally important, though, to remain connected to our feelings. Each of us is giving up so many things this year – and for me, the hardest thing to lose is our Passover seder.
Each year on Passover, we ask “Mah nishtanah,” “Why is this night different?” This year, though, we know why: Pesach 5780 is simply unlike any other.
"Source of Blessing, our lives are in turmoil, our hearts heavy. Help us to cope with this modern plague..."
The uncertainty we’re dealing with each day has us concerned about our ability to even make camp happen. We’re determined, we’re dynamic, and we’re clever – but if we’re being completely honest, we just really don’t know yet.
Instead of longing for traditions of years past, we reveled in the joy that comes with stepping away from convention and creating new rituals that hold deep symbolic meaning – just like the Jews who fled Egypt so many years ago.
The Book of Proverbs instructs us to “speak up for those who cannot speak...to raise our voices on behalf of the vulnerable and downtrodden.” (Proverbs 31:8-9). The individuals who make up America’s prison population are isolated, vulnerable, and voiceless.
Is this happening because the future is now so uncertain? Am I more aware that every day might be my last? Such questions give us pause and make us take serious stock of our lives.