Passover has become for me a time of great conflict between what I have grown up with and what I now know. I find it a time of mixed emotion and I struggle to deal with it very well. I don’t like the message of human suffering and destruction that the traditional story of Passover glorifies. I also don’t like the lie it perpetuates that invokes the notion of a supernatural deity, or “god”. I find that offensive to my intelligence and that of the people with whom I am sharing the Seder table.
Essentially Passover is a celebration of the freedom of the Jewish people, but in that freedom, there are many Jews who have become slaves of the bondage of the more fundamental aspects of the Jewish religion. I talk about the gay and lesbian Jews, the bisexual and transgender Jews; those Jews who are forced to live a life of lies and deceit, and who struggle in trying to do so. And then there are also those who have had their freedoms reduced by the Jewish people.
If you are inclined to think about Passover and what it stands for, think about freedom and the people who have it, and the people who don’t.
I have been shown a Haggadah that offers a more meaningful look at the Passover celebration and offers a more dignified Seder service than the one that many of us have been brought up with. You may want to use this Haggadah at your Seder and, in doing so, tell a better story of freedom.
To demonstrate your support for those who are denied the same freedoms as everyone else, put an orange on your Seder plate alongside the other items. There’s an explanation why in this Haggadah.