The story of our people moving from slavery to freedom begins long before we were slaves in Egypt.  Our story begins before we were even a people, when God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a nation, that he and Sarah would miraculously have a child, that they would go forth from the land where they lived and stand for something new.  This promise was given to Abraham with the assurance that though Abraham and Sarah's descendants would face hardship, God would support them as they sought freedom. 

Today, we know that when we fight for freedom, when we fight for men and women to be treated equally, when we leave the lands where we lived in pursuit of justice, that we continue in the path of our people.  As God stood with Abraham on the side of justice, God stands with us today. 

Abraham's descendants, the sons of Jacob, left the land of Israel because of famine - and they went to Egypt.  While they were in Egypt, their families increased, and the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites.  Afraid of the number and strength of the Israelites, Pharaoh decreed that male Israelite sons should be killed.  

Yocheved, Moses' mother, resisted this decree. When her son Moses was born, she created a basket of reeds and sent Moses into the Nile.  Yocheved sent her daughter, Miriam, to watch over her.  Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, rescued Moses from the river, and Miraim suggested a fitting nurse - Yocheved.  The Egyptian midwives Shifra and Puah, also resisted Pharoah's decree, refusing to kill Israelite male babies.  

These women of courage and action remind us that we too can stand up and do what we know is right, even in the face of cruel leadership.  And when we work together - we prevail.

haggadah Section: -- Exodus Story