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How Passover renewed my fortitude to repair the world

Passover is a time of stories. We tell the story of the Exodus from slavery to liberation which is a story of leaving where one doesn’t have any say to a place of liberation, freedom and redemption. In the desert, where we had journeyed from Mizraim (that is, Egypt), we have the giving of the Torah, so we weren’t only physically free because of the Exodus story, we are also spiritually free because of the Torah and the 10 Commandments. Those are a way of reminding us that we are here to serve God, God is not here to serve us. 

My husband’s parents were survivors of the Holocaust. Their telling of the Exodus story was even more profound. When you have survivors who are around the table, they would tell their stories and share how part of what surviving the Nazis meant to them was to move from degradation to liberation. They would add in the nuances and specifics of their survival stories to the full Passover story.

Watch Rabbi Zimmerman’s reflections on the stories of Passover

When we gather around our Seder tables, we tell the story and we also hear questions from the youngest members of our families. We are told in the Haggadah to deeply examine the meaning of this story. Even if one is a scholar of Torah, even if somebody is an expert on what sages have said about the Exodus, we still explore the meaning of the story. No one gets a pass to not tell the story. There is no hierarchy, even the youngest child gets to ask the questions, and it is our job to go and dig deeply into those questions.

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