This time of year, when family and friends come together to celebrate, is so important to me. Especially after the last few years, when gathering has been so rare. I feel a sense of the world opening around Passover; plants uncurl their new leaves, people venture outdoors as winter finally passes, and the sunshine stretches the days.
Lately, I have worried that our fields of vision are growing narrower. Even as modern tools like the internet should make it easier than ever to explore new frontiers, it seems that people are calcifying their opinions and splitting into smaller and smaller factions. We seek out things that reinforce our views; we avoid those which make us uncomfortable.
This Passover, as we remember the struggle of our ancestors and consider the plight of oppressed people everywhere, I will be thinking of the sky above the Red Sea. How it must have felt to walk between walls of water, with a strip of sky above, and then to step beyond, to the other side, and feel the sky explode above into vastness.
The world is so much bigger than it sometimes feels. There is so much to see, and learn, and experience. As you gather together with your community around the seder table, I hope you feel your world widening around you. I hope we all can step from our narrow divides into the wider expanse of humanity, and really hear and see each other.
Eric M. Robbins is the president and CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.