- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On April 7, 2017
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat and this week, Passover.
We know all too well how slavery is not an ancient concept. As we gather around the Seder table and share a story of redemption, examples of servitude are not far from our consciousness. In our own country, which still must work to overcome the vestiges of state sponsored slavery to the forced labor perpetuated by the Nazi regime to atrocities elsewhere in the world where slave labor remains, we join together to move from degradation to dignity, an important theme of the Seder. I offer this poem by Primo Levi, an Italian writer, chemist, and survivor of Auschwitz where he was a slave laborer.
He found meaning and redemption in the Passover ritual toward a place of hope.
May your Seder and Passover holiday bring you new insights and understanding toward a world waiting to be redeemed by our actions and impact in it.
How, tell me, is this Passover Different from all other Passovers?
Light the lamp, open the door wide
So that the pilgrim may enter, Be he Gentile or Jew;
Perhaps the prophet is concealed under his rags.
Let him enter and sit down with us;
Let him listen, drink, sing and celebrate Passover;
Let him consume the bread of affliction,
The Paschal Lamb, sweet mortar and bitter herbs.
This is the night of differences
The night we eat the bread of affliction,
The night we lean our elbows on the table,
Since the forbidden is prescribed,
And evil is translated into good.
We will spend the night recounting
Far-off events full of wonder,
And because of all the wine
The hills will prance like rams.
Tonight they exchange questions:
The wise, the wicked, the simple-minded and the child.
And time reverses its course,
Today flowing back into yesterday,
Like a river enclosed at its mouth.
Each of us has been a slave in Egypt,
Has soaked straw and clay with sweat,
And crossed the sea dry-footed.
You too, stranger.
This year in fear and shame,
Next year in strength and justice.
-Primo Levi 9 April 1982
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Passover!
We join together this Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. and recognize our important relationship with the earth as our focus this week. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., we will study Jewish texts and the Torah portion related to stewardship of all of creation.
Live Webstream Qabbalat Shabbat HERE.
Connect with me with comments and reflections HERE.
On the first morning of Passover, we will once again engage in the Clergy Matzah Brei Cookoff. You get to vote! Breakfast will be 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Passover Services (upstairs) and a kids program (downstairs) will start at 10:00 a.m.