Now we turn to telling the story of the Exodus and include the recitation of the plague as we dip drops of wine or grape juice from our cups in remembrance of the suffering of our brethren the Egyptians.
We start by acknowledging the central role of women in the liberation.
It has always been important for our community to repair some of the damage done to all of us, both men and women, through the patriarchal practices that at times marginalized women’s role in Judaism. We start that in our Seder by acknowledging that the Torah tells the story of the first act of rebellion against Pharaoh – the refusal of the Jewish midwives Shifra and Pu’ah to participate in the genocide that the Pharaoh had devised by calling on them to kill the first-born males whose births they facilitated. These midwives’ refusal to participate in the Pharaoh’s nefarious scheme was the first crack in his rule, and it set the precedent for other women to refuse to go along with the genocide that Pharaoh’s followers were implementing. These two brave women are really the first heroes of the liberation struggle.
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