On most other nights, we allow the news of tragedy in distant places to pass us by. We succumb to compassion fatigue—aware that we cannot possibly respond to every injustice that arises around the world. On this night, we are reminded that our legacy as the descendants of slaves creates in us a different kind of responsibility—we must protect the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. Let us add a fifth question to this year’s Seder.
Let us ask ourselves: How can we make this year different from all other years?
This year, let us recommit to our sacred responsibility to protect the stranger, the poor and the vulnerable:
When tasting the matzah, the bread of poverty, let us find ways to help the poor and the hungry.
When eating the maror, the bitter herbs, let us commit to help those whose lives are embittered by discrimination, persecution and hate.
When spilling wine from our glasses to mourn the Egyptians’ suffering during the 10 plagues, let us pledge to aid those who suffer from modern afflictions— from HIV/AIDS to Ebola.
When reclining in celebration of our freedom, let us seek opportunities to help those who are still oppressed today. On this night, we are reminded that our legacy as the descendants of slaves creates in us a different kind of responsibility—we must protect the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt.
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