Additional Readings

Haggadah Section: Commentary / Readings

We offer a selection of readings to close the evening here: 

 “...People can be enslaved by poverty and inequality. When the fear of need drives them to dishonesty and violence, to defending the guilty and accusing the innocent – they are slaves. When the work men or women do enriches others, but leaves them in want of strong houses for shelter, nourishing food for themselves and for their children, and warm clothes to keep out the cold – they are slaves... 

How deeply these enslavements scar the world! The wars, the destruction, the suffering, the waste! Pesah calls us to be free, free from the tyranny of our own selves, free from the enslavement of poverty and inequality, free from the corroding hate that eats away the ties which unite humankind.” 

-adapted from The New Haggadah 

“Wherever we live we find oppression and injustice, but there really is a better place, a promised land, that we as individuals and as a community can see and feel in our heads and our hearts. The way to get from here to there is by joining together, working, marching, and sometimes stumbling, through the wilderness, watching this time not for signs and wonders, but for an opportunity to act. May the spirit of this festival of freedom remain with us throughout the coming year. May its teachings inspire us to work toward our vision of a better world.” 

- from Workmen’s Circle Seder, 2011 

“Together, with those around this Seder table and with our global family connected by our collective pursuit of justice, we pray: “Next year in a more just world.” And through our actions from this Passover to the next, let us make these dreams a reality. 

Peace in societies torn by war 

Freedom from bigotry and oppression 

Equality for minorities shunned by prejudice and hatred 

Respect for the aspirations and humanity of women and girls 

Acceptance for people persecuted for who they are or whom they love 

Sustenance for communities living in hunger 

A safe harbor for refugees and survivors of violence 

And the promise of dignity and human rights for all.” 

- American Jewish World Service Haggadah, 2016 

“As we bring this Seder to a close we pray that we may carry with us into daily life the message of freedom emphasized in its symbols and rituals. May the memories of this night inspire us to cast off our own shackles of intolerance, greed and hatred. May we here resolve to break the chains that fetter our minds and blind us to the glory, beauty and goodness which life offers in such abundance. 

Help us to realize that we cannot have freedom for ourselves unless we are willing to give it to others. Through our daily deeds and devotion, may each of us in our own way, help to liberate all who live in fear, poverty and oppression. May the light of freedom penetrate into all corners of the world, and lift the darkness of tyranny so that all may be free.” 

-Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action 

Compiled by Julian Cranberg

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