Dear RTPV Family,

On Passover we are commanded to eat bitter herbs in order to remember the bitterness of our lives as slaves and to remind us how precious our freedom is.  Our Rabbinic sages devised the Passover Seder as a teaching on living freely.  Reclining, telling stories and asking questions are all markers of a free people.

In the current climate of our nation, it feels as if we are losing the ability to ask questions and offer opinions and still be willing to listen to answers from all sides.  We have become more like waring tribes, each demanding complete loyalty to their clan, rather than free thinkers who can debate and disagree and maintain the common ground of our shared humanity and national interest.  

As we gather with friends and family at our Passover Seders let us hold precious the freedom to ask questions, to offer opinions and engage in civil conversation.  May we find a way to disagree with others’ ideas yet hold up the dignity and freedom of others whose ideas we find disagreeable.

May you Passover holiday be filled with joy and blessings,

Rabbis Laurie Levy and Steve Altarescu