Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday. I think that’s because the Jewish Community is forced to eat basically gluten free for a week. You see, I have Celiac Disease and am forced to be gluten free all the time. For me, Passover is a great equalizer! Anyway I digress from the real meaning of the holiday. Passover is the story of the Exodus and how the Jewish people survived the all mighty pharaoh, the ten plagues, sustained life for 40 years in the desert, made it to the Promise Land, and the rest, as they say is history.
The Passover Seder is an integral part of our holiday. We gather, family and friends to read the Haggadah, learn about our history, ask questions, sing songs, and, of course, eat an amazing meal filled with brisket, and matzah ball soup. This year my family took a new approach to the Seder. During the first Sedar lead by my grandfather, he asked everyone to tell his or her story. A short few minutes about how they got to be where they are today. Clearly the elders of the group had much better stories than say myself. However, it got me thinking about what my story is, how I got to Detroit and how my life has changed so much in the last year. More importantly, I started thinking of how some of our Yad Ezra clients would answer that question and if it would even offend them. Many have gone through so much. I can’t even pretend to understand the hardships our clients have experienced.
Passover also reminds us the Israelites did not have much time to get out of Egypt. They only had enough time to make matzah. I think this relates to what we are doing at Yad Ezra. When people are in need they must feel as if time has run out on them. At Yad Ezra, we help by helping families find more time. We are part of their support system just like manna was to the Israelites in the desert.
Everyone has a different story. Some stories are known to all and some are kept a secret. But these stories, good or bad make us who we are today. Passover is more than a holiday – it is our collective story. Passover gives us tradition. It teaches us to not persecute strangers. And, Passover teaches us to let all who are hungry come to our homes and eat. I hope you will join Yad Ezra in helping our clients write new life stories full of hope and time without hunger.