We Could Be Heroes: A Heroes Haggadah Introduction

What is a superhero anyway? Someone who has the power of invisibility? The ability to fly? To read minds? To interpret something incomprehensible? Or is it someone who leads by example, or does things a little differently, a little unexpectedly, a little bit more selflessly than the rest of us do? 

This year many of us returned to the theater to witness fictionalized heroism, as our superpowered surrogates found strength, experienced loss and chose self-sacrifice for the greater good. Off-screen, we watched a flood of attention and people-power flow toward the borders of Ukraine, trying to rescue people from dire circumstances. We were reminded that, not all heroes wear capes. Or spandex. Or uniforms. They wander through deserts, gallop on horses, drive rescue vans, organize convoys of supplies. They see to their own health and to the well-being of those around them. They create art and music that speaks justice into the world and connects us with our emotions. Many walk the same streets as we do, making similar choices, with impacts both public and private. 

Heroes know they have power and use it for good. With great power comes great responsibility. With hands outstretched to rescue the plagued, the indigent and tempest-tossed; providing shelter for the vulnerable, silent and unsung heroes jumped into the breach to free those who were bound or in narrow straits. Some of us will accept the mantle of leadership, relinquishing our own goals and desires to be agents of liberation. Heroes and superheroes teach us about selflessness and democracy, that even if our speech isn’t perfect, someone has to lead, even if they sometimes resent the burden.

What makes a superhero? Who are our favorite wielders of smarts and swords, enlightened sapience and lightsabers?

Why are we riveted to their stories? What do we expect from them?

Why might we embrace the idea of a pan-religious philosophy that includes righteous violence and connections to the common flow of universal energy? How do we frame the drive to go where no others have gone before?

How do these new stories intersect with our classic texts and common history? Are they even new at all? 

This is the work of the seder, this year and every year. It can be serious, traditional, contemporary and even fun.

So as you assemble your league of justice-seekers around your table and distribute your Haggadot to guide you through the Seder, may you live long and Pesach, and may the four questions be with you.

[Image source: GIPHY]

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Esther Kustanowitz