Reader: Each cup we raise this night is an act of memory and of reverence. The story we tell, this year as every year, is not yet done. It begins with them, then; it continues with us, now. We remember not out of curiosity or nostalgia, but because it is our turn to add to the story.
Our challenge this year, as every year, is to feel the exodus, to open the gates of time and to become one with those who crossed the Red Sea from slavery to freedom.
Our challenge this year, as every year, is to know the Exodus, to behold all those in every land who have not yet made the crossing.
Our challenge this day, as every day, is to reach out our hands to them and help them cross to freedomland.
We know some things that others do not always know - how arduous is the struggle, how very deep the waters to be crossed and how treacherous their tides, how filled with irony and contradiction and suffering are the crossing and then the wandering.
We know such things because we ourselves wandered in the desert for forty years. Have not those forty years been followed by thirty two centuries of struggle and of quest? Heirs to those who struggle and quested, we are old timers at disappointment, veterans at sorrow, but always, always, prisoners of hope.
The hope is the anthem of our people (Hatikvah), and the way of our people. For all the reversals and all the stumbling blocks, for all the blood and all the hurt, hope still dances within us. That is who we are, and that is what this Seder is about.
For slaves do become free, and the tyrants are destroyed. Once it was by miracles; today it is by defiance and devotion.
In the words of the great black abolitionist, Harriet Tubman: "I have heard their cries, and I have seen their tears, and I would do anything in my power to set them free."
Let us make this Passover not only the season of our freedom, but also a time of freedom for everyone.
Together, we say:
Next Year in Jerusalem!!
Lishana Ha-baah Bi-yerushalyim
Next year, may we all dwell in peace!
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