A Note to Non-Jews: You are very welcome at our Seder! Jesus was a Jew, and the Last Supper was a Seder. Our supplement affirms the liberatory message that is part of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and is found in many other religious and spiritual traditions as well. You may find some of this ritual helpful if you create your own rite to celebrate the key insight of Easter or of any of the spring holidays of the world: that rebirth, renewal, and transformation are possible, and that we are not stuck in the dark, cold, and deadly energies of winter. Judaism builds on that universal experience of nature and adds another dimension: it suggests that the class structure (slavery, feudalism, capitalism, or neoliberal imperialism) can be overcome, and that we human beings, created in the image of the Transformative Power of the Universe (God), can create a world based on love, generosity, justice, and peace.

We understand God in part as the Transformative Power of the Universe – the force that makes possible the transformation from that which is to that which ought to be, the force that makes it possible to transcend the tendency of human beings to pass on to others the hurt and pain that has been done to us, the force that permeates every ounce of Being and unites all in one transcendent and imminent reality. In short, we understand God in part as the ultimate Unity of All with All, of whom we are always a part, even if we are not always conscious of the part of God we are, or the part of God that everyone and everything is. And you are welcome at our Seder even if you think all of this makes no sense and there is no God.

Here is why we talk about God in our Seder: It is precisely when we become the fullest conscious embodiments of who we actually are (namely, a cell in the totality of All Being and a manifestation of this God) that we feel empowered to become part of the liberation story of the universe, of which the Passover celebration is at once a commemoration and a renewal. So we encourage you to always ask at every moment of the Seder, “What part of our society’s much-needed transformation can I participate in?” – both in terms of personal and psychological transformation and in terms of social, political, and spiritual transformation. In short, we are inviting you to make your Seder or Easter celebration not only a wonderful opportunity to be with friends, family, and/or community, but also a moment to make new personal commitments to be part of the transformation we celebrate and which our society and the planet earth so badly need.

Our Hasidic masters pointed out that the Hebrew word for Egypt ( mitzrayim ) can also be understood as the narrow place of consciousness. To be a slave is to see only the small picture placed in front of you by the powerful. Understood in that way, the liberation struggle is a process that must continue from generation to generation.

When faced with the enormity of the environmental crisis that advanced industrial societies have played a major role in creating, the temptation is to take a little piece of the crisis and see what we can do to fix it. Recycle here, stop fracking there, or oppose a new oil pipeline. Yet for every struggle won, the dynamics of capitalist economies – which must continually find new raw materials and create new markets – guarantee that larger forms of destruction will continue. This ongoing destruction will eventually wear many of us down and lead to a despairing passivity.

That’s why Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives have advanced theEnvironmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to theU.S.Constitution (ESRA), which would require the largest corporations to prove a satisfactory history of environmental responsibility in order to do business in the United States.

As we campaign for that, we need, in addition to the thousands of local projects to save the planet, a campaign for a New Bottom Line so that all our social, economic, and political systems and institutions are judged “efficient, rational, or productive” not to the extent that they maximize money and power (the Old Bottom Line) but to the extent that they maximize love, generosity, environmental sanity, and sustainability, and enhance our capacity to transcend a narrow utilitarian or instrumental attitude toward each other by treating one another as embodiments of the sacred and Nature by responding to it with awe, wonder, and radical amazement, cherishing it rather than just exploiting it.

Unrealistic? Yes. Just like every other liberation struggle and attempt to move beyond the narrow consciousness of what is possible that has been drummed into our heads by the Pharaohs of every age. Passover must become the time to replenish our energies to become the agents of an expanded consciousness that can envision and create a world that lives in harmony with planet Earth – God’s gift to us.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: From Michael Lerner, Tikkun