Friday, April 6, 2012

Out of Egypt

The novelist Jonathan Safran Foer has edited a new Haggadah, which for the uniniated (like me) is the text read during the Passover Seder. He explains why he took time away from writing novels to edit this new Haggadah in a New York Times piece, Why a Haggadah?

One line in his piece, quoted from the Haggadah, struck me:

In every generation a person is obligated to view himself as if he were the one who went out of Egypt.

This got me interested, and I read through a free Haggadah that I found online. Here is a quote worth considering:

The struggle for freedom, for the elusive rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of justice, is a constant one. In every age, some new freedom is won and established, adding to the advancement of human happiness and security. Yet each age creates more Pharaohs and more enslavements,requiring new liberations. The victory over the first Pharaoh in Egypt was but the beginning, a foreshadowing of all the emancipations that were to follow, and which will yet follow in the days to come. Mitzrayim means the narrow place--the place that squeezes the life out of a human soul and body. We are all still enslaved in Mitzrayim, because we are all still struggling to be free. We are duty bound to retell and expand upon the story of our Exodus from Mitzrayim to remind us to work for the time when all the Pharaohs of the world will be vanquished, when right will conquer might, when God alone will rule, and all peoples will enjoy peace and freedom

A non-Jewish family, of whatever faith, might consider adopting this holiday.

What is your Egypt? What Pharaohs are you struggling to overcome?

Passover starts today and runs through April 14. The Passover seder is held on the first night of Passover.

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