Category: Passover

Oved with an Ayin

Confusion sometimes arises from the similarity, in English transliteration and in pronunciation, between two prominent words in the haggadah: ‘oved‘ meaning ‘slave’ and ‘oved‘ in the phrase “Arami oved avi,” from Deuteronomy 26:5. The previous […]

Why is This ‘Oved’ Different from The Other Seder ‘Oved’?

“When do we eat?” is often identified as the fifth question at the Passover seder, after the prescribed four about dipping and reclining, bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Just as often, in my experience, people […]

April 22: 1968 and 2016

Who can say we’ve actually left Egypt? April 22, 1968 was the original launch date for the Poor People’s Campaign. As we approach the beginning of Passover, on April 22, 2016, the very basic demands […]

Racism: Congenital Deformity, Sickness Unto Death

It is time to re-order our national priorities. All those who now speak of good will and praise the work of such groups as the President’s Commission* now have the responsibility to stand up and […]

Blasphemy of Pharaoh’s Overreach: Theology, Context and the Trouble I’ve Seen

“Claiming the center stage, just like Pharaoh and Caesar did in their time, has always been a blasphemous overreach that actually places oneself on the margins of God’s reign,” thus writes Drew G.I. Hart in […]

Moral State of Emergency (Beyond 34)

“God has declared a state of moral emergency,” writes Rabbi David Kasher in his commentary on this week’s Torah portion. Kasher points out that a command to care for the poor suddenly appears in the […]

In Touch with the Source (Beyond 10)

Three days into the wilderness journey, the promise of freedom seems to fade — וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לִשְׁתֹּת מַיִם מִמָּרָה כִּי מָרִים הֵם they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter […]

The Facts of Jewish Diversity (Beyond 2)

Continuing the theme of “not knowing” as a form of callous, insensitive “moral deficiency,” one we seek to leave behind this Passover season, let’s explore some facts about diversity in the Jewish community. Upwards of […]

On the Road to Knowing: A Journey Away from Oppression

The Passover journey is launched in “not knowing” — as when a new Pharaoh arises who does not know Joseph (אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַע, אֶת-יוֹסֵף, Exodus 1:8) or God (לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אֶת-יְהוָה, Exodus 5:2) — and it […]

Getting Exodus Right: Watch the Women and Learn (or: Family Travail Becomes Community Action)

A coffin in Egypt closes the Book of Genesis (Genesis 50:26), and the Exodus story is launched with a basket on the Nile (Exodus 2:3). Joseph’s death, which closely follows that of his father, Jacob […]