As I prepare for Pesach this year, I am once again drawn to two powerful themes in our haggadot that we will recite during our sedarim. The first is Avadim Hayinu: “…we were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt and Adonai freed us with a mighty hand.” The second is B’chol dor vador: “…in every generation every one of us is obligated to regard ourselves as though we had experienced Mitzrayim and the Exodus to freedom.”
The two themes have always resonated for me, even moreso this year given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Avadim Hayinu: While we are grateful for the tremendous efforts of doctors and medical researchers who have developed vaccines to combat the virus, I also believe that, once again, Adonai is helping to free us from our modern-day enslavement with a mighty hand.
B’chol dor vador: How much more powerful is our collective pandemic experience of contemporary enslavement to the virus and the fact that we must all realize the struggle for our health freedom.
What does freedom look like to me this Pesach? The health and well-being of my family, friends and community members to be able to celebrate this Pesach together, whether in person or virtually, while recalling the blessed memories of those we lost due to COVID.
On behalf of Hillels of Georgia, and the more than 5,000 Jewish students we serve on campuses across the state, Chag Kasher v’Semeach! Happy Passover!
Elliot B. Karp is CEO of Hillels of Georgia.