In the traditional Haggadah, we begin to tell the story of the Exodus right after the four questions. The four questions notoriously do not get answered in the Haggadah, but in lieu of answers, we encounter a story. It begins:
Avadim hayinu. We were slaves.
This is the first line of our story for tonight as well, and possibly for many of the stories that we tell about our lives every day. Whether it's the past, or the present, or the mysteries to come.
Tonight, instead of telling the story of the Exodus, which we know very well, we will - as long as you're comfortable - create a one-night-only story. This is the story of the promised land, the place to which we are wandering and flying, the place that we dream of no matter what our current circumstances are. It's the dream of what trees we're planting whose fruits we may never eat. In this story, we can hold a lot of contradictions, as we will undoubtedly find in each of our dreams. And often, this is what community is - a place that must hold the contradictions of all of our dreams. Where our own, personal utopias must be enough for us personally and must be held by our community, without any of the othering litmus testings that the Rabbis asserted over various of the children.
Let's make this a balance of the "simple" child's openness and lack of ego, and the "wise" child's interest in structures. Let's let the destruction and vengeance against our enemies be in our imagination's past, so we can talk about what there *will be,* and not what - or who - there *won't* be. Instead of saying "there are no billionaires or monopoly for-profit corporations," imagine what would exist instead. Feel free to plagiarize - Star Trek's abolishment of money, for example, is a great dream for the future!
Questions to keep in mind:
1. What is the place like physically?
2. What structures exist, and why? (What are we taking for granted even in our imaginations?)
3. What are our families and communities like? How are people with each other?
Has anyone here done round-robin storytelling before? Each person can say one or two sentences, and the next person can add a sentence or two either as a list, like Dayeinu, or building upon what the previous person just said. It's OK to pass, or go out of order, if you have something you want to say later, or immediately right now.
Let's use this exercise in fiction and fantasy to break some of our usual rules, in order to more fully celebrate what liberation can look like.
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