Lift second cup of wine.
Vehi she’amda la’avoteinu v’lanu. She’lo echad bilvad amad aleinu l’chaloteinu, elah she’bechol dor vador omdim aleinu l’chaloteinu, V’Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu matzileinu mi’yadam.
This is the promise that has sustained our ancestors and us. For not one enemy alone rose up to destroy us; rather, in every generation, they rise up to destroy us, and the Holy Blessed One rescues us from their hands.
As a refugee people – an immigrant people – we know that anti-Jewish and anti-immigrant hatred are deeply entwined. Tonight, we retell the story of the moment when first these hatreds met thousands of years ago, as Pharaoh declared that the Israelites had become too numerous in Egypt. Sadly, this narrative has repeated itself throughout Jewish history and continues to be weaponized, often with lethal consequences.
Today, though, is the first moment in history when Jews are not predominately refugees. Rooted in our communal experience, in this generation, as in all generations before us, the Jewish people knows that our futures are bound up with those who now seek to enter our country, particularly refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution. May no more generations suffer at the hands of those who vilify the other, and may we continue to be God’s partners in the ongoing redemption of those who long for freedom.
Place second cup of wine down on the table without drinking.
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