Passover celebrates freedom, exemplified in the story of our Exodus from Egypt. That

story leads our entry into Israel—not exactly a simple redemption tale. Especially not

now, as Israelis and Palestinians continue to fight for their mutual Promised Land, and

to shed blood in pursuit of its ownership.

In light of that situation, some of us may have complicated feelings about identifying

with Israel. But “Israel” doesn’t refer only to the Land. “Israel” is the name which was

given to Jacob after he spent the night wrestling with an angel of God. Therefore “the

people Israel” can be interpreted as “Godwrestling people”—“people who take on the

holy obligation of engaging with the divine.”

haggadah Section: Introduction