Dear WJC Family,
Tami and I are eagerly anticipating hosting our first “typical” seders for Passover in this house—may we continue on this path and it be so. You know what I mean by typical—lots of people around the table, no Zoom computer running, plenty of haggadot stained with wine from mis-aimed plague droplets—routine seder stuff. Although I must admit, I am not sure if I will ever think of a seder, or any gathering of people, as routine again.
The haggadah teaches us that “In every generation a person must regard himself as though he personally had gone out of Egypt.” Maybe this passage isn’t referring to a literal Egypt, but to whatever trauma touched that particular generation. I mean let’s face it, of all the generations from Pharaonic genocide until today, our generation is hardly the first to have faced a trauma, nor would we likely consider ourselves the worst of the lot. In every generation we have been through one Egypt or another, through plague or expulsion or persecution. And through it all, we made seder—before, during, and after whatever we were surviving at the time.
Though we wish it were not so, our generation is no different. We have been to Egypt, to Mitzrayim (literally the Narrow Place) and now we will remember it even as we remember the first Egypt. We will move forward and carry on with Jewish life and with the rest of our life. It is what we have always done. But we always remember. We always tell the story. We always learn the lessons and teach them to the children. It is our way. Our seder.
In that spirit, below are resources for the coming holiday. You will find information about some of the classes we are offering this year, the link for “selling” your chametz, a siyyum being offered to cancel the Fast of the First Born, a chance to burn our chametz together (and roast marshmallows), and a chance to eat our last chametz together at a pizza and pasta party the night before the holiday!
In every generation, even this one, we go out from our Egypts and learn how to survive and press on. It doesn’t matter what Egypts lay behind us or what ones may lay ahead—we continue the Exodus, continue the journey of our people to the Promised Land, to a better world. May we arrive there quickly and may we do our part to bring it about.
Wishing you a season of hope and joy,
To download or order (by April 4) free large print Haggadahs For the visually impaired or reading disabled, please visit:www.jbilibrary.org