: רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל הָיָה אוֹמֵר:כָּל שֶׁלֹּא אָמַר שְׁלשָׁה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בַּפֶּסַח, לֹא יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ, וְאֵלוּ הֵן
פֶּסַח, מַצָה, וּמָרוֹר
Rabban Gamliel would teach that all those who had not spoken of three things on Passover had not fulfilled their obligation to tell the story, and these three things are: Pesach, Matzah, and Marror.
Pesach - Shankbone
This reminds us to wear who we are on our sleeves, in public if we can, or at least within our communities, in order to be seen and unseen in the ways that reinforce our differences, our individuality, our pride even, in our vulnerabilities, as the enslaved families painted their homes with the blood of the lambs they sacrificed. How is it powerful to show our vulnerability?
We can't always (ever?) be prepared for what's coming. We have to move into the future we want with what we have, even if our bread doesn't fully rise, because of our rushing. How many things are we putting off for "the right time," or when "everything is ready?"
Maror - Bitter Herbs
This reminds us that bitterness has a place in our cuisine - and our lives - truly, that bitterness can be digested along with the sweetness of charoset. That no feeling is unmentionable or unmanageable (as Mr. Rogers said in his senate testimony). This bitterness, like salt, even as it can at times be overpowering, also can enhance the taste of what's around it, and is always better in collaboration with other flavors, as we'll experience soon in our Hillel sandwich.
Other items deserving mention:
The Orange and the Olive
This reminds us that there are nations within our nation. Our liberations are intersectional, are bound up with a much broader kind of personhood, in a world where religion, sexuality, race, and geography are not singular or defining qualities but rather are part of each of our wholeness. In these gestures that have been developed by members of various Jewish communities to give space for inclusion to lesbians and queer women and femmes with the orange, and to the Palestinian struggles for liberation with the olive, our communities and dreams for the future must hold these communities and other marginalized communities as unique, enriching elements of our celebrations and plans.
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