By Rabbi David Rosenberg, Coordinator of Jewish Educational Services and Orthodox Community Liaison
“Next year, may we be free.” - Passover Haggadah
The holiday of Passover, “the season of our liberation,” celebrates the departure of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. This is a central theme of the Passover Seder, a festive meal replete with symbolism and song. The traditional guide for the Seder, the Haggadah, reminds participants that “we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.” Then, God liberated us—so we are free.
The Haggadah responds to the challenges people may face by asking the hosts of a Seder to say, “let all who need, come and participate in Passover.” When we see others in distress, we can help address their needs.
The Haggadah puts the mandate to help, heal, and care, at the center of Passover’s celebration of liberation. Helping, healing, and caring make it possible for us to liberate others and to help make a world in which we can say with hope, “next year, may we be free.”
Chag Sameach – A very happy Passover!
Rabbi Suzanne Griffel, a JCFS Chicago chaplain, reflects upon the Passover holiday and how it resonates with Jews to look beyond the narrow straights that confine us.
If you, or a loved one, is impacted by illness, addiction, end-of-life, loss, loneliness, or other life challenges, JCFS Chicago’s Jewish chaplaincy services provide welcoming, accessible spiritual support for individuals and families.