Tonight, Jews around the world will sit down around the Passover Seder table and celebrate the exodus from Egypt 3,325 years ago. We will drink four cups of wine to symbolize freedom, eat bitter herbs to remember the hardships we endured as slaves and of course, eat plenty of matza.
During the Seder, we read from the Haggada- the special text which adds significance and ritual to the experience. At one point in the Haggada, the text refers to different children with varying gifts who sit around the seder table. Parents are commanded to answer questions from each child about the seder and help them internalize the Passover story.
Many commentaries discuss the differences between the children themselves. One thing stands out to me: It is an inclusive table! ALL the children are around the table, no one is excluded. No matter what gifts they have, each child has what to contribute, can still participate. Every person in society has different needs and we need to give each person the consideration and personal attention they deserve.
Passover is a holiday of freedom, a time to celebrate our independence, our formation as a nation. But freedom does not relieve us of responsibility- a responsibility to make sure everyone in our society enjoys the same freedom.
At the beginning of the seder, we mention: “Whoever wants to come and join us tonight is welcome.” Say it with meaning and then make it happen. Everyone has a seat around the table.
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