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Faith Voices: Teaching Freedom – Rabbi Hillel Katzir

The Jewish Festival of Passover begins this Saturday evening, March 27, and lasts for eight days. During those days, Jews observing the Festival take part in a number of observances that are all part of the central theme of teaching the lessons of the holiday.

Even if you are not Jewish, and you don’t celebrate this Festival, the lessons are meaningful to us all:

  • It matters, to God and to all of us, that everyone in the world should be free: free from slavery (in any form), free from hunger, disease and oppression. On the first night of Passover, at the Seder, Jews tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt to highlight this lesson.
  • We must take advantage of every opportunity for freedom, for ourselves and for our fellow children of God. During the week of observance, Jews eat Matza (unleavened bread) instead of regular bread, to remind us that, if we have to take up an opportunity to increase freedom in the world instead of waiting for the leavened bread to rise, we must do so.
  • Everyone learns in different ways, and it is necessary that everyone learn the story of the Exodus to remind us of the above (and other) lessons. At the Seder, in telling the story of the Exodus, we tell it in at least four different ways; these four ways represent as many ways as are necessary to teach everyone that, until all human beings are free, we must continue to teach and to work toward that goal!

Let us wish each other:

  • To Jews, a happy and meaningful Passover;
  • To Christians, a happy and blessed Easter next week;
  • To Muslims, a blessed and meaningful Ramadan Mubarak next month;
  • And to us all, a happy and meaningful continuation of our joint project of working together, each in our own way, until everyone is free!

Rabbi Hillel Katzir, Northern Colorado Faith Leaders Caucus

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