When the Jewish people recite the story of Passover, they recall Pharaoh’s ignorance and hate which led him to enslave the Israelites. They remember Moses and Aaron advocating for their people’s freedom, and the strength and determination shown in the face of uncertainty when freedom was finally won. They eat food that symbolizes not only the Israelites’ pain but the pain of those who suffered around them during the fight for freedom. And they sing to echo the joy felt at the moment of liberation before stepping forward towards the hope of a better life.
The history of the Jewish people, during and long after the events of the Passover story, reflects the strength required to leave one’s home in search of freedom, safety and security, and the hardship, and sometimes bigotry, one might face in a new land. They know from the experience in Egypt, and for the thousands of years since, how it feels to be persecuted and seek refuge. This Passover, let us all embrace the lessons of this holiday’s story and extend a hand of friendship to our immigrant and refugee neighbors and advocate for their rights.