We break the matzah and hide one part (the Aﬁkomen). We recognize that liberation is made by imperfect people, broken, fragmented — so don’t be waiting until you are totally pure, holy, spiritually centered, and psychologically healthy to get involved in tikkun (the healing and repair of the world). It will be imperfect people, wounded healers, who do the healing as we simultaneously work on ourselves.
The Bread of Afﬂiction
Raise the middle matzah so that everyone can see it and say:
This is the bread of affliction. Let everyone who is hungry come and eat. But when saying that traditional line — let all who are hungry come and eat — we must also recognize the stark contrast between the generosity of the Jewish people expressed in this invitation, and the actual reality in which we live. In the past year the U.S. Congress has passed tax legislation that would return hundreds of billions of dollars to the well-to-do, and yet our country has no money to deal with the needs of the poor, the homeless, and the hungry. We should be taking those hundreds of billions of dollars and using them to rebuild the economic infrastructures of the impoverished all around the world, and providing decent housing and food for those who are in need. Instead, we live in a world in which we try to build barriers to protect ourselves against the poor and the homeless, which demeans them and blames them for the poverty they face.
So when we say “hah lachmah anya — this is the bread of affliction, let all who are hungry come and eat,” we remind ourselves that it is this spirit of generosity that is the authentic Jewish spirit. It is meant to be a contrast to the messages of class society, which continually try to tell us “there is not enough” and therefore that we can’t afford to share what we have with others. We are the richest society in the history of the human race, and we may be the stingiest as well — a society filled with people who think that we don’t have enough.
We who identify with Tikkun and are part of the Network of Spiritual Progressives proudly proclaim: there is enough, we are enough, and we can afford to share.
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