The Bible calls matzah the “bread of poverty” (Deuteronomy 16:3). As we break the middle matzah in two we hold it up and invite our entire community to join us in the celebration of, and continual fight for, justice and freedom. The broken matzah reminds us of the deprivation of poverty and is a physical symbol of the very real scarcity of jobs, food, and housing that face those with criminal records and the families they are trying to support.
(One person breaks the middle matzah in two. The larger piece is set aside, and the smaller piece is placed back between the two whole matzot. The plate of matzah is lifted.)
This is the bread of affliction that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let them come and eat; whoever is in need, let them come and join us for the Passover seder. This year we are facing a system riddled with discrimination; next year may we celebrate a fully inclusive society. This year we stand with those who are still enslaved; next year may we all be free.
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