Day 81: Passover

Passover Begins Tonight

DAY 81 ACTION: Learn about Passover.

Rev. Channing Phillips, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, and Topper Carew on April 4, 1969, at the first Freedom Seder. Credit: NPR (courtesy of Arthur Waskow).

Passover celebrates the liberation of Hebrew slaves from Egypt.

5.3 million Americans – or 2.2% – are Jewish. Not all Jews are religious, but many American Jews will celebrate Passover as it begins tonight.

Passover tells the story of Moses leading the Israelites to freedom. Moses is an important figure in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

Families begin Passover with a Seder, to recall the flight from Egypt. Wine and foods like matzah, a lamb shank bone, a hard-boiled egg, and bitter herbs are shared, while the Haggadah is read.

Jews have had to flee their homes more than once in the millennia since Moses led his people from Egypt, to escape persecution and death. In 2015, 664 Jews were victims of hate crimes in the US, more than twice the number of Muslims targeted for violence. 

And yet, some Jews have used Passover to focus on liberation and justice more broadly. After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jews in Washington, DC reached out to the African-American community. One year after Dr. King’s death, on April 4, 1969, 800 people celebrated the first Freedom Seder at Lincoln Congregational.

**If you have 9 minutes, watch this video about the first Freedom Seder.**

Freedom Seders continue – we participated in one last week. And Haggadahs have been written for immigrants and the environment, too.

Today’s Action: Learn about Passover and the Freedom Seder. Read a Haggadah.


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