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Have You Ever Been Freed From Somthing?

Posted on 04/11/2014 @ 01:57 PM

On Tuesday night I attended the Downtown Seder, a special kind of seder created about 10 years ago to allow people to gather before the holiday, listen to music, stories, and thoughts, and take lessons home to share with family and friends at their own seders. Artists, comedians, politicians, all gathered around to speak about the notion of freedom. Whether talking about peace and conflict in the Middle East, civil war in the Ukraine, or the right to marry in one of the 50 states, they each brought a different idea to the table. David Broza sang Yihyeh Tova, the Consul General of South Africa spoke about the notion of freedom from apartheid, and the local news anchor shared how she overcame breast cancer. Each presenting guest told a portion of the Passover story in their eyes.

I sat through the evening, eating my matzah ball soup and laughing at the jokes about our modern day plagues (apparently gluten is being named the 11th plague) and wondered: If I were asked to present a part of the seder what would I say? Should I look to self-imposition, as perhaps I have locked a part of myself up? Should I consider the physical, as maybe I’ve been held back in that regard? Is there a societal restriction that has kept me from being my fullest self?

As with many of our holidays, the story of Passover can sometimes feel distant. You may ask what you have in common with the slaves in Egypt, but don’t stop short. Look deep into your life, your passions, your dreams. From what do you feel free, or from what do you wish to be free? Next week as you gather around your seder table, tell that story of freedom and encourage others to do so as well. This holiday should not just be a showcase for the stories of the past. Let’s make it about sharing what we hope will be the stories of the future too.

This Shabbat Message was written by Aleeza Lubin, Director of Jewish Enrichment in the Midwest Hub

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