The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.
Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Passover is, hands down, my favorite Jewish holiday, though that’s sort of like saying I have an ultimate favorite book (which is to say, I love them all). Passover is the only holiday I have consistently celebrated since I began my Jewish journey, save for last year for reasons I’d love to never revisit. The Hebrew anniversary for my conversion, the 17th of Nisan in the year of 5773, falls during the eight days of Passover, so this time of year holds a special place in my heart so it’s especially important to me that I am able to celebrate. Plus, this holiday combines everything I love: storytelling, symbolism, great food. What’s not to love?
One of the many things I love about Judaism is how we intertwine the past with the present, with an eye towards the future. Every year at the Seder table, we retell the story of Exodus and how we were freed from slavery through a series of miracles with Moses leading the way and then eat some really delicious food. We are to go through the Seder as if we ourselves have just been freed from Egypt; we are commanded to remember this time in our history, because it is a cautionary tale. While we cannot change our past, we are to remember it so that we can make sure we do not repeat it. The symbolism of the items on the Seder plate also urges us to think about modern-day plagues (poverty, inequality, etc) and how we can work towards eliminating them. We do this all within community, as one extraordinary group of people who have survived and accomplished so much.