Passover is one of the three ancient pilgrimage holidays. Three times every year, Jews from all over would come to the Great Temple. They could join with their family, friends, and strangers to celebrate their religion. When Babylon conquered Israel, Jews were prevented from coming to the Temple. This was not to protect the Jewish people, but to constrain them. Why? Because Babylon was afraid that the Jews, if allowed to live or pray together in Israel, would unite against it. Babylon was not the first time this had happened. In the story of the Exodus, Pharaoh put the Jews into forced labor because he was afraid that the Jews might have the idea to attack Egypt if they were allowed freedom. This issue is still relevant today. In many countries people are restrained and unable to express themselves. As we go through this Seder, you should keep this idea in mind, and consider how freedom of expression is tied to freedom from slavery.

haggadah Section: Introduction