April 11, 2022

A Question for Passover

Robert Lichtman Chief Jewish Learning Officer

Our Greater MetroWest community is privileged to be in history at a time when we are financially unfettered, locally and globally interconnected with all Jews, enriched by our shared history and destiny with Israel, and empowered to be active and influential in our host societies.

When does Oppression yield to Redemption?


After hundreds of years under Egyptian oppression, our tears welled up and our voices finally spilled out. Our redemption at Passover was triggered by our cries, for it was only then that God set the machinery of our redemption into motion.

At that very same moment, Pharaoh’s heart turned to stone. A stone that was deaf to our cries. A stone that further crushed us. A stone that itself was crushed as we crossed the Red Sea. As we gather at Seder tables adorned with freedom, we are achingly aware that our sisters and brothers in Ukraine are absent.

We proudly sing in celebration.
They are huddled and hushed, shielding their lives.

We recount 10 Plagues with drops of red wine.
They can no longer count the bloody plagues that engulf them.

We exclaim, Next Year in Jerusalem!
Those who can flee may be there tomorrow.
Those who are trapped fear that next year may be too late.

Sitting at our Seder more than 3,000 years after the Exodus, more than 4,000 miles from Ukraine, we have the ability to aid those who are trapped. We have the wings to bring them home. We have the blessings to participate in courageous acts of redemption, for we have the hearts that hear their cries.