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Reb Lisa's Message

March 23, 2022

On the arc of the Jewish calendar we move from the joy of Purim to the freedom of Pesach (Passover). This year, the quest for liberation takes on new meaning with the devastating war in Ukraine.

We learn from the Passover story that no one is truly free until we all are free. Each year we reflect on our own bondage, our own experience of oppression, at the hands of a cruel and heartless leader, Pharaoh of Egypt. We recall the miracle at the sea, where its full mass rose up and peeled into two walls, and revealed the path to freedom.

We tell this story every year, over and over again, through the centuries, so that we taste both sides. We know the experience of bondage and freedom. Because of this we have deep empathy for all those who are enslaved to their own Pharaoh. We hear their cries. We stand in solidarity with their quest for freedom.

For the last two years, we experienced Pesach through the oppression of Covid. While the pandemic is not fully behind us, we are able to gather in small groups, with family and friends safely this year for Passover. We’ll tell this ancient story around the table. We’ll add Covid to the list of modern day plagues. And we’ll hear the cries of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. We’ll hear the longing of Russian citizens who want to know the truth, and who experience their own unique form of oppression. At ever seder table, let us collectively stand up to Vladimir Putin and say, “Let my people go!”

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