Leslie Gordon’s 2022 Passover Message
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Leslie Gordon’s 2022 Passover Message

Leslie Gordon shares her inspiration and thoughts on this year's Passover holiday with the community.

Leslie Gordon
Leslie Gordon

Passover is the time I miss watching my grandmother make her careful preparations for the Seder meals, my mother changing out dishes and cleaning out cupboards, accepting that cream cheese with jelly on matzo would likely be my school lunch for a week, and looking forward to hanging out with my friends in shul.

I miss seeing my grandfather and, later, my beloved father reclined on their extra pillows conducting the Seder while we kids wished they’d skip ahead in the Haggadah so we could get to the meal.

We were all together then: some of us too young to know what might await us as we grew older, or to imagine the sorts of division that might grow between us – conflicts over nationalism, politics, climate-change, personal rights, our different ways of celebrating Judaism. Back then, we were busy sneaking the Manischewitz and trying to guess just how gross a plague of frogs would really be.

As I got older, I added an orange to the Seder plate. And a few years back I was blessed to become the executive director of The Breman Museum. Perhaps that’s why, these days, I think more about Miriam’s role in the Passover story.

My Passover wish is that we might put aside our differences (I know, they won’t disappear) and, like Miriam and the women she helped lead across the Red Sea, let’s all pick up our tambourines and sing and dance, for we stand on a threshold together.

Whether we sing Dayenu, every verse of Chad Gadya – or Mr. G’s “Matzo on my Mind” – it’s time to look with awe and wonder at our past and with hope and faith to our future, as we stand, again, as always, on the threshold between bondage and freedom.

Leslie Gordon is the executive director of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

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