Clergy Team at The Temple’s 2022 Passover Message

Clergy Team at The Temple’s 2022 Passover Message

Clergy Team at The Temple shares its inspiration and thoughts on this year's Passover holiday with the community.

Clergy Team at The Temple
Clergy Team at The Temple

Passover is the celebration of our redemption from slavery. We sit at our seder tables as free people—able to leisurely eat and recline—and retell the story of our ancestors’ freedom from slavery in Egypt as though it happened to each of us. We imagine leaving familiar yet oppressive surroundings and venturing to the other side of the Sea, celebrating our freedom.

Passover is the celebration of freedom, and yet when we sit at our tables we are mindful of the many ways freedom feels far away in our world. In our diverse Jewish community, many experience oppression because of their gender identity, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Our communities experience rising antisemitism, many of us have connections to the war in Ukraine, we are mindful of recent attacks in Israel. And we see the headlines, the knowledge that oppression exists in so many ways and so many places in our world.

Passover is the celebration of hope and possibility. When we dip the karpas (parsley), we are reminded of the promise of renewal and growth. When we taste the bitter herbs, we promise to never forget the bitterness of slavery then and now.

When we eat the matzah, we affirm our responsibility to help all who flee with their meager possessions on their backs. And when we look around our tables, we feel the deep responsibility to ensure all who are hungry and lonely find a place in our communities.

We join together in saying, “Next year in Jerusalem”—next year, may we celebrate more freedom than oppression, more sweetness than bitterness, more hope than fear. Passover reminds us that wherever we are now, there is the promise of journeying to the other side of freedom and celebration.

The Temple is a Reform Congregation in midtown Atlanta — Rabbi Peter Berg, Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus, Rabbi Sam Kaye, Cantor Deborah Hartman, Rabbi Lydia Medwin and Rabbi Steven Rau.

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