Midrash teaches that, while watching the Egyptians succumb to the ten plagues, the angels broke into songs of jubilation. God rebuked them, saying, "My creatures are perishing, and you sing praises?"
As we recite each plague, we spill a drop of wine - symbol of joy - from our cups. Our joy in our liberation will always be tarnished by the pain visited upon the Egyptians.
Death of the First-Born
Today's world holds plagues as well. Let us spill drops of wine as we recite:
Apathy in the face of evil
Brutal torture of the helpless
Cruel mockery of the old and the weak
Despair of human goodness
Envy of the joy of others
Falsehood and deception corroding our faith
Greedy theft of the earth's resources
Hatred of learning and culture
Instigation of war and aggression
Justice delayed, justice denied, justice mocked...
Shekhinah, soften our hearts and the hearts of our enemies. Help us to dream new paths to freedom, so that the next sea-opening is not also a drowning; so that our singing is never again their wailing. So that our freedom leaves no one orphaned, childless, gasping for air.
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