Every year as Pesach approaches I groan. Who needs to change over dishes? Who needs to prepare Seder for thirty people? Who needs to clean their house of chametz? Who needs to find new things to include in the family Haggadah? Who needs to go a whole week without bread?
Well this year I do. Being a bit of a workaholic I used to rely on Shabbat to offer a break from a crazy week, but I admit my Sabbath observance has been lax recently. Just when I was beginning to think I should bring Shabbat back into my life in a more meaningful way Pesach approaches. Suddenly, Jewish friends, both observant and non-observant go into a frenzy preparing for the holiday. Especially, at a time of such uncertainty in the world, Pesach allows us as Jews to come together for a holiday focused on freedom, redemption, and liberation. We gather with family and our fears of economic uncertainty, pink slips, and lost retirement accounts fade into the sounds of children reciting the Mah nistanah and singing dayenu.
On Pesach we say, Bashana Habahah Yerusaliyim or Next Year in Jerusalem. Well last year at this time we were headed into the Democratic Presidential primaries and the fate of the future of our government was uncertain. Now, a year later we have a President hosting a Seder at the White House! An article by Hilary Krieger in The Jerusalem Post, announced last night that President Obama would participate in what is the first White House Seder attended by a President on the second night. Maybe he really is a Jewish President?
President Obama in his White House letter, found here called the Passover story “among the most powerful stories of suffering and redemption in human history.
Steve Rabinowitz was quoted in the article as saying, “that though he hadn’t been invited, “I’m only sorry that I won’t be there to see the president and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel say at the same time, ‘Once we were all slaves. Now we are all free.’
If there is one thing we think about this holiday, it is that last line “Once we were all slaves. Now we are all free.” America has come so far this year. The Democratic party has seen more inclusiveness than any political party in our nation’s history. On this Passover holiday let us reflect on the year as free people who were able to choose our leaders.
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