"It commemorates the time when the exodus from Egypt occurred 3,329 years ago", said Rabbi Mendel Dubov, of the Passover holiday. "But it has always been more about the present than the past".
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, could continue this tradition - but as of Monday morning, it was still unclear whether he will. And, for many of us, that is just the first step. "As we step into this historical experience, we can not help but draw to mind the 65 million displaced people and refugees around the world today".
"A Muslim ban, immigration raids, a border wall, police shootings of young African-American men, mass incarceration, environmental degradation - these are the tyrannies of our time", he continued.
However, since Rosen already eats vegan every day, he said abiding by the chametz and kosher restrictions of Passover isn't really an issue for him - thus he loses out on "the struggle of Passover" that connects Jews to their ancestors.
"It comes from the idea of conservation and has little to do with politics", said Brechner, whose service provides an opportunity to retell a story "as if we ourselves had been enslaved in Egypt".
"They are of all faiths, from around the state and we are breaking bread - or breaking matzoh - together", she said. The four students leading the Seder read from "The Traditional Egalitarian Passover Haggadan". This version illuminates traditional rituals, prayers and storytelling which resonate in today's social and political environment. The supplement includes contemporary refugee stories collected by HIAS, a Silver Spring Jewish organization that resettles refugees.
"This year as we get to the 10 plagues of Egypt, how can a Jew not contemplate the horror of the Assad regime dripping gas on innocent civilians, on images of children writhing, gasping and dying", he said of the chemical weapons attack allegedly unleashed in the Idlib province last week by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. "When we come to the table and individually share our stories from despair to hope, we inspire the collective". "It's important to up at the start, when things are beginning to happen, not after they have happened". "When we do that, we discover that underneath it all, our universal thirst for freedom, safety, welcome and dignity is the same".
Afterwards, the Israelites fled Egypt, following Moses out of slavery and into the promised land. Trump's America First slogan has anti-Semitic roots, too: It was popularized by citizens who opposed US involvement in World War II.
Seder participants ask four questions from the Passover Haggadah while guests drink four cups of wine.
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