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Posted by on Apr 23, 2016 in Jews, Religion | 0 comments

Passover is the original and forever freedom song


Passover is the best gift the Jewish people ever gave to the world; nobody who was ever a human being could turn down its message of freedom, its transformation of the taste of tears into the wine of hope, its view of the leaves of parsley as the springtime of redemption.

Passover is a freeing father’s story and a redeeming bowl of chicken soup from a mother at a time when politics would drain even our nostalgia from us.

It whispers to you, this Passover, as the winter is receding, and you are cleaning out the drawers of your household and the chambers of your soul. It beckons to you at the Seder table with the lyrics of your ancestors. It calls to you from the troubled, ancient shores of the Nile, and it has been heard about in our time along the Rhine and the Mississippi and so many other rivers of hate.

It awakens you with the symphonies of benevolence that have played—from a single set of Egyptian bulrushes, where baby Moses hid, to the learning academies of Babylon to the teaching tents of Africa to the spiritual pagodas of China to the caring sanctuaries of Europe to the underground railroads of so many freedom campaigns.

It is relevant for every child of every color ever born of a mother who knew how to give the milk of kindness.

When you hear the voices of your parents; when you hear the music of your heritage; when you hear the singing of springtime birds; when you hear the speech of your lover; when you hear your heart telling you to care; when you hear the bells of freedom; that is when you are hearing the old story.

And when you are moved by these melodies, and inspired by this idea, that is when you are truly marching, like the Hebrews, to the freedom land.

[Adapted from my book, ‘Thinking Passover,’ Dutton, 1997. Available on] Cross-posted from Spirit Behind the News.