Jewish tradition commands that we each recall our past experience of slavery. This is our way of making sure that we never become too complacent, that we never just sit back and think that helping others is someone else’s responsibility.
“And you shall explain to your child on that day, ‘It is because of what the Eternal did for me when I went free from Egypt.’ And this shall serve you as a sign on your hand and as a reminder on your forehead—in order that the Teaching of the Eternal may be in your mouth—that with a mighty hand the Eternal freed you from Egypt. You shall keep this institution at its set time from year to year” (Exodus 13:8–10).
Passover reminds us that because we know what its like to be slaves, we have a responsibility to help others that are still enslaved. Because we were strangers, we must help strangers in our own land. Oppression is found throughout our country, and it plagues millions of children and families throughout the world. As long as there are people shackled with the daily pursuit of shelter and food, there is slavery.
On Passover, we celebrate freedom from oppression. Let us think of those who are oppressed by poverty. On Passover, we welcome the stranger into our homes. Let us also think of those who have no place to call home. On Passover, we spill wine to represent the ten plagues. On Passover, let us think of the hunger, the homelessness, the poverty and abuse plaguing so many. On Passover, when we hear our children raise their voices in song and ask the Four Questions, let us remember those who have no voice.