Monthly Archives: April 2015

Harriet Tubman Joins Six Women of Courage in the Exodus Story—by Ayala Emmett

Moses found in the river Synagogue Fresco from 244 CE
Moses found in the river
Synagogue Fresco
from 244 CE

This year we add to our Seder Harriet Tubman who joins the six women who shaped the history of the Exodus. The women belong at the Passover table because all seven emerge as consequential political catalysts. All are remarkably brave, amitzot, all are women who at great risk take bold actions in the political/religious arena of their time and speak directly to contemporary concerns of justice.

Tubman joins six agentive women in the Exodus story who are connected across ethnic and class differences. read more

Matzah of Hope — by B.J. Yudelson

You may remember that back in the ’70s and ’80s, we added a fourth matzah to the three required for the Seder and called it the Matzah of Hope. It was a symbol of the three million Soviet Jews who had no freedom to be Jews. Some twenty or thirty years later, our united voices had changed the situation. I propose that this year we once again add a fourth matzah to our Seder table and read the following. What do you think? Maybe together we can change the situation for the Agunot, women anchored to men who neither want them as wives nor are willing to free them to lead their own lives. read more

“ It was God who made Pharaoh Obstinate” (Ex-9:12) What is our excuse?–by Deborah Kornfeld

The Lord caused and east wind  to blow in great swarms of locusts.
The Lord caused an east wind
to blow in great swarms of locusts.

I always look forward to the plagues. That part of the Haggadah recited in a singsong ritualistic manner is accompanied by the small thrill of putting my finger into the wine cup and marking my plate. It carries with it a memory that despite the power and might and Technicolor special effects accompanying our redemption, we need to be mindful that the Egyptians suffered. In the exquisite theatre of the Seder, every participant has an active role in this custom. To make out seders lively and fun for the children, we often decorate our table with frogs and beasts and lice- a real table top menagerie. read more