The traditional Haggadah, the narration of the Passover story, has three separate beginnings, each with a different meaning: “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt”; “At first our ancestors were idol-worshippers”; and “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt.” These remind us of the multiple forms of liberation embodied in the Exodus: liberation from slavery and oppression; from ignorance and superstition; and from homelessness and helplessness. And what are we to make of all this? The narration concludes: “In every generation, each of us is obliged to see ourselves as if we had personally left Egypt.” These tales are not history lessons but a guidebook for today.
– J.J. Goldberg
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