The True Meaning of Passover

As Passover 2022 begins, Rebekah Lowin, editor at Hearst Magazines and the founder of the Jewish lifestyle site, compiled a cornucopia of memorable quotes that convey the meaning and importance of Passover.

 Musée national message biblique Marc Chagall (Creative Commons)
 Noah’s Arc by Marc Chagall (Creative Commons)

As many sit down tonight with extended families for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020, we share some of the wisdom Lowin assembled in her article, “Memorable Passover Quotes to Share at Your Seder Table.

May this Passover season bring joy and peace to you and yours.

“I love Passover because for me it is a cry against indifference, a cry for compassion.”—Elie Wiesel
“The Passover story is the Jewish people’s original story of becoming
strangers in a strange land. It is the story that reminds us that we, too, have
stood in the shoes of refugees and asylum seekers in search of safety and
liberty. As we lift our voices in song and prayer, we call out together with those who long to be free. This year, there are still many who struggle towards liberation; next year, may we all be free.”—Mark Hetfield, President & CEO, HIAS
“You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.”—Exodus 23:9
“The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.”—Rabbi Shimon Raichik​
“Passover affirms the great truth that liberty is the inalienable right of every human being.”– Morris Joseph
“Sharing food is the first act through which slaves become free human beings. One who fears tomorrow does not offer his bread to others. But one who is willing to divide his food with a stranger has already shown himself capable of fellowship and faith, the two things from which hope is born. That is why we begin the seder by inviting others to join us. That is how we turn affliction into freedom.”—Rabbi Jonathan Sacks 
“The willingness to sacrifice is the prelude to freedom. The first step in the struggle to lift the yoke of bondage must be marked with the blood of idealism—of idealistic men and women who are willing to make the sacrifice that the realization of freedom requires. Liberty is not achieved by complacency; it is not won without suffering the scars of battle. It is accomplished by selflessness and sacrifice; it is won by courageous action.”—Alfred J. Kolatch, The Family Seder: A Traditional Passover Haggadah for the Modern Home
“Freedom is within our grasp, and Pesach reminds us that we need to reach.”—Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson


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Judaism Religious holiday Passover