Before we begin, there are few things to think about regarding the language we use in our Seder.

As we go through the steps of our Seder tonight, we will refer frequently to God. We will give thanks to God for our freedom, our safety and for the food, water and wine we have to eat and drink. Not everyone believes in God, or thinks of God in the same way. "God" can mean many things to many people. Some people think of God as an omnipresent and omnipotent being, some think of God as the collective forces of nature or the Universe, some think of God as a metaphor for human kindness and benevolent actions. This Seder is for everyone, regardless of their beliefs, and as we read and listen, everyone at the table with us should feel free to adapt the words to their own understanding. It is not important that we all think of God the same way, only that we all give thanks for the goodness that we give and receive in our own lives.

We will also speak in the first person. We will talk about the time that we were slaves in Egypt. We will talk about the ways that we still suffer oppression today. Why do we speak this way, when we at this table have never experienced slavery ourselves, when we benefit from so much privilege relative to others living today? At Passover, we celebrate the joy and relief of finding freedom, and we remind ourselves that the path to freedom and equality is not a straight line. Breaking the bonds of oppression is not something that is done once and finished, it is something that we must all do, all the time. Freedom is fragile, and it us up to us to find it, every year. We remind ourselves, also, that as long as any person is not free, none of us are free. It is not enough to fight for our own freedom, we must fight for freedom for everyone. At Passover, we speak to our solidarity with everyone who is not free today. We commit ourselves to working for freedom for all people, in all ways, at home and around the world.

haggadah Section: Introduction