Progressive, liberation exodus

Haggadah Section: -- Exodus Story

Reader 1: It is written that long ago, during a time of famine, the ancient Israelites traveled to Egypt. According to this legend, the Israelites at that time were all in a single family – Jacob and his children. One of Jacob's sons was Joseph, whose wisdom caused the Pharaoh – the ruler of Egypt – to make him a leader over all the people of Egypt.

Reader 2: But as time passed, another Pharaoh became the ruler of Egypt. He did not remember about Joseph and his wise leadership. This new Pharaoh turned the Israelites into slaves, and burdened them with heavy work and sorrow.

Reader 3: After the Israelites were in Egypt for over 400 years, a man arose among them. He demanded that Pharaoh let his people go! Many times he risked his life to insist on the freedom of his people, until he finally succeeded.

Reader 4: At our Passover Seder, we celebrate the story of Moses and the people he led out of slavery 3000 years ago. We celebrate the struggle of all people to be free. Throughout the centuries, the story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt has inspired Jews and non-Jews in time of persecution and hardship.

Group: Let us remember that the thirst for freedom exists in all people. Many centuries after the time of Moses, African people were brought to America as slaves. These slaves longed for freedom, and they were inspired by the story of Moses and the ancient Israelites.  Millions of people around the world are still slaves today, and long for freedom.

Reader 5: The freedom we celebrate tonight is not only freedom from slavery. It is also the freedom to live in peace, with dignity and with hope for a bright future. This constant vision has inspired the Jewish people since the ancient times recorded in the Bible.

Reader 6: This evening, as we celebrate our own freedom let us take notice of the struggles toward freedom in many other parts of the world.

Source:  
Adapted from A Humanist, Modern Haggadah by Eszter Hargittai

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