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Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays. It’s celebrated widely among American Jews and their families and friends. The holiday commemorates the story of the ancient Israelites' experiences in Egypt–-from their enslavement to the miraculous events of the Exodus.

The Passover Seder is a meal full of symbols and rituals that convey that story, from slavery to redemption. The bitter herbs mark the bitterness of slavery, the four cups of wine or juice celebrate freedom, the matzah commemorates the Israelites’ hasty departure from Egypt, which did not allow time for their bread to rise, and the four questions convey the importance of involving ourselves in the story and understanding it in new ways.


A core message of the seder is that this is not just an ancient story. Instead, "In every generation each one should see yourself as if you came out from slavery in Egypt." We are called to imagine ourselves in the experience, to draw on it to explore our own and other people's current-day struggles for liberation.


Because Passover is primarily celebrated in the home, each household or group has the freedom to shape the traditions of the seder as they choose. Many seders include connections to specific forms of oppression, such as refugee rights or climate justice. The Passover story invites us to ask ourselves how we can participate in efforts to end oppression and be part of the continuing journey toward freedom.

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