For millennia, Jews have gathered to retell the tale of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt. We continue that long, unbroken tradition every Passover. It comes from the story of the tenth plague when the angel of death comes to claim the firstborn son of every Egyptian household. Jews were instructed to paint their doorposts with lamb’s blood so that the angel of death would “pass over” their homes and spare their sons. Some believe this is also the beginning of the custom of placing a mezuzah on the doorposts of Jewish homes to offer blessings and protection.
On Passover, we hold a seder dinner with ritual foods, prayers, songs and reading from the Haggadah, the telling. We tell the story of our freedom from bondage and the beginnings of our free nation, the nation of Israel.
The seder is for everyone. It is for family and friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish. The story of Passover, with its message of freedom, resonates with everyone and reminds us of the things for which we are grateful.
We particularly emphasize involving children in the telling to assure the story is retold l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.
This Passover, may you, your families, your friends and your neighbors, relish in your freedom and pray for those who are not free. Together may we participate in tikkun olam, repairing/improving the world.
Marty Haberer is the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.