THE BEGINNING

Haggadah Section: Introduction

What makes today unlike every other day? Well, today you have to follow this new, awesome, Haggadah and wait your turn to ask your questions.

It is also a day when we come together to remember those who suffered before us—suffered to bring us here to this promised land: Manhattan.

Yes, tonight is about the Jews who made that exodus out of Egypt, but they are stand-ins for all those who have struggled to make a better life. All those who made a journey be it physical, intellectual, or philosophical are in their own ways Jews, as we see it.

It is for this reason that the Haggadah, even in ancient times, began in Aramaic, the common language of the day, not in Hebrew. This was the custom so that all would be welcome, so that all could understand this important story. The Zohar, (everyone look hard at Catherine), also gives another reason that we read in our common tongue—the Zohar tells us that “G-d likes to hear His children recount the story of the Exodus.” And so, beginning tonight in our common tongue, English, we bypass the angels (who apparently only speak Hebrew) and tell G-d his favorite, once a year, special, bedtime story: Exodus.

Luckily He is benevolent and He lets us drink… 'Cause it’s a long story.

Anyway, the Jews, and everyone else it seems (other than the White Anglo Saxons), braved the hardships of slavery. They suffered in the service of an ungrateful master. They sweated it out in the desert, all to get us to this holy place, this land of never ending discussion. Manhattan.

And it is true, all jokes aside, that this story belongs to all of us even if you interpret it differently. Tonight, we're in charge, but you are part of this story whoever you are. You can look at the Matzah and see hardship and at the empty chair of Elijah and see the good to come.

So let us say, all together:

Next year in the land of never ending discussion, be it Manhattan or Jerusalem, let us be there and eat together, as we remember those who made an exodus for us, so that we may be here.

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