Dear TEE community,

Passover has begun and I hope this year’s holiday will be a meaningful one for you. I think many of us have a new understanding of the Haggadah’s teaching that each of us must see ourselves as personally coming out of the confinement of Egypt. After the pandemic restrictions of the past few years, especially the social isolation many of us experienced, we can truly appreciate a new sense of freedom.

As we begin the holiday, families and friends gather to retell the story of the Exodus, sing songs, eat special foods, and reflect on the meaning of freedom at the seder meal. The Passover seder is a time for both remembrance and renewal. Through the retelling of the story of the Exodus, we are reminded of our roots as a people who were once enslaved but who now enjoy the freedom to practice our traditions. At the same time, Passover calls us to renew our commitment to work for the liberation of all who are oppressed. The themes of enslavement, freedom, and redemption are universal, and speak to the experiences of many marginalized communities.

Passover is also a time for reflection on our personal journeys of transformation. Just as the Israelites were transformed from a group of slaves to a free people, we too are called upon to examine the ways in which we may be holding ourselves back from true freedom. Passover is an opportunity to embrace the new growth of spring, to shed the habits and patterns of thought that keep us stuck, and to move forward with renewed purpose and energy.

Finally, Passover is a time to come together in community and to support one another on our individual and collective journeys. In a world that often feels divided and fragmented, the Passover seder serves as a reminder of the power of joining together in celebration. I hope that your Passover gatherings nourish you in spirit as well as body.

Wishing you a joyous holiday – chag sameach!

Rabbi Drorah Setel