וְגֵר לֹא תוֹנֶה וְלֹא תִלְחָצֶנּוּ כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָים
"You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt."
The four cups of this wine this year shall represent four freedoms that asylum seekers and refugees worldwide are fighting for:
1. Freedom to be at home
2. Freedom from indefinite and unjust detention
3. Freedom to live with family
4. Freedom to live free of oppression or persecution
The First Cup:
After leaving slavery, oppression and genocide in Egypt, the ancient Hebrews wandered the desert for forty years looking for a home to call our own. Today, hundreds of thousands of people, from Syria, Sudan, Eritrea, Iraq and many other places are currently still wandering, either internally displaced in their own countries, or having fled to Europe and elsewhere. This year, we drink the first cup to those still striving for a home of their own.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן
Baruch atah adonei, eloheinu melech ha'olam, boreii p'ree hagefen
We praise God, ruler of everything, who creates the fruit of the vine.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Baruch atah Adonei, eloheinu melech ha'olam, she-hecheyanu vekiymanu ve'hegiyanu lazman hazeh
We praise God, ruler of everything, who has kept us alive, raised us up, and bought us to this happy moment.
We drink this cup to remember those for who the story of the Jewish exodus in the desert is a daily reality, in hope that they find their salvation as we found ours.
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