Five rabbis, living under the Roman oppression in the second century, gather for a Seder and lose track of the time, until reminded by their students that dawn has come. Some scholars suggest that they used this Seder, with its themes of liberation from oppression, to plan a revolution. With their students posted as look-outs to warn of the approach of Roman authorities, the debate raged all night long: Pacifism or militant revolt? Is there a right time to take up arms against an enemy? Do the ends of revolution justify the means of violence? Is war ever justified? Does Judaism require political freedom, political power to survive? May we step away from the world of politics and practice our spirituality, oblivious to the material conditions of human existence? Or is our spirituality tied intimately to the real lives of our people? Perhaps it was the passion of their teachers in debate, that moved the students to exclaim: Dawn has arrived!
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