Living the Story

“When I take part in a Seder service on Passover, telling the story of the book of Exodus, I am not engaged in a cultural act like watching a film or reading a book about it. I am enacting it, making it part of me. On Passover, the Exodus ceases to be mere history and becomes memory: not something that happened somewhere else to someone else long ago, but something that is happening to me, here, now. It defines me as part of that story, linking me to a community of others in different places and times. It changes me, for I now know what it feels and tastes like to be oppressed, and I can no longer walk by when others are oppressed. People who have lived the seder service are different for having done so, and the world is different because of them. It is why there were so many Jews (Joe Slovo, Albie Sachs, Joel Joffe, Helen Suzman, Nadine Gordimer, and others) in the fight against apartheid, and why Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched with Martin Luther King Jr.”

The Great Partnership, Chapter 10, p. 172