by Rabbi Joel Soffin of Temple Shalom in Succasunna, NJ
On this holiday when we are commanded to relive the bitter experience of slavery, we place a fourth matzah with the traditional three and recite this prayer:
(Recite while holding a Fourth Matzah to be added to the Three traditional matzot)
"We raise this fourth matzah to remind ourselves that slavery still exists, that people are still being bought and sold as property, that the Divine image within them is yet being denied. We make room at our Seder table and in our hearts for those in southern Sudan and in Mauritania who are now where we have been. We have known such treatment in our own history. Like the women and children enslaved in Sudan today, we have suffered while others stood by and pretended not to see, not to know. We have eaten the bitter herb; we have been taken from our families and brutalized. We have experienced the horror of being forcibly converted. In the end, we have come to know in our very being that none can be free until all are free. And so, we commit and recommit ourselves to work for the freedom of these people. May the taste of this 'bread of affliction' remain in our mouths until they can eat in peace and security. Knowing that all people are Yours, O God, we will urge our government and all governments to do as You once commanded Pharaoh on our behalf: 'Shalach et Ami! Let MY People Go!'" This Pesach, as we recall our own slavery, we recommit ourselves to fight for freedom of all who are enslaved, wherever they are. BLESSING OF FREEDOM After the meal has been eaten, ask everyone to stand, stretch their arms and legs and recite the following blessings of liberation: "Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, Master of the universe, Who releases those bound up."
Barukh Attah Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-Olam, Mateer Asureem. "Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, Master of the universe, Who made me free."
Barukh Attah Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-Olam,she-Asanee Ben/Bat Khoreen.
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