This Passover, Slavery Hasn’t Ended

Regardless of which Haggadah you use to tell the Passover story, you can download timely and thought-provoking supplements to add meaning to your Seder.

Passover is coming up.  Some people prepare by shopping for matzah, ordering brisket and baking macaroons. I’m not hosting the seder in my home this year, so instead I’ve been focused more on the themes of the holiday – and less on food. Though, I’m sure next week when the holiday arrives, I’ll be pretty focused on the food as well.

Each year, as we retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt, we tell the story of a past generation’s journey from slavery to freedom. One of the reasons that Passover is so resonant today as a holiday is that unfortunately we know that there are many people who are still enslaved.  

Even while we taste the sweetness of the journey toward liberation, we must also turn our attention to the millions of people around the world enslaved by poverty, violence, discrimination and other modern plagues.

Regardless of which Haggadah you use to tell the Passover story, you can download timely and thought-provoking supplements to add meaning to your Seder.

Here are a few that I recommend:

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston’s Four Actions of Passover: Standing with Immigrants and Refugees.  It includes some touching “Stories we don’t tell” as well as specific action steps you can take to help others journey to their liberation.

The American Jewish World Service has A Global Justice Haggadah which you can download as well as several downloadable supplements that fit into various parts of the seder.  Many of their texts play off of the traditional theme of “Next Year in Jerusalem” and understand that to mean “Next Year in a Just World.”

The  organization for which I work, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, has a downloadable Haggadah supplement: Four Questions about Immigration.  This one-pager contains four questions about the search for freedom – for ourselves, for our community, and for all humankind.  

One of the things that I love about Passover is that it encourages us to keep asking questions – not just the four that are codified in the Haggadah, but any questions that spark our curiosity and attention.  What better time than during a holiday themed with slavery and liberation than to ask about how others are suffering in the world and how we can help?  If not now, when?  

Discover More

How to Conduct a Passover Seder

The 14 steps of a traditional seder.

How to Make Your Own Passover Haggadah

A DIY Haggadah adds a personal touch to your seder and can make for a more meaningful holiday.

The Haggadah

What's inside the book that serves as guide, script and liturgy of the Passover seder.

Time to Make Your Hanukkah Resolutions

Exploring the roots of the word, Hanukkah.

A Latin Twist on Hanukkah Latkes

A Hanukkah latke recipe inspired by Mexican and Jewish family traditions

A Spiel and a Yarn

How having an extended family of different faiths built my unique Jewish identity

Valuing Debate and Conversation

Jewish tradition, informed by the precedent of the Talmud, prefers to promote discussion rather than correctness.