Even for secular people, Pesach symbolizes the coming of the spring, new beginnings, and above all- freedom. On the “Seder” night, family and friends gather together to retell the story of the exodus from Egypt, and the journey from slavery to freedom that is known worldwide.

The exodus from Egypt is the most important myth of freedom in the Jewish history and tradition. However, it was not the last “freedom story” in a long history of persecution, wars, exiles, and genocide, where more than once the Jewish people had to seek for their freedom.

In the “Hagada” (the traditional book of stories and prayers that is read on the “Seder” night) there is a part that says that every person must see themselves as though they personally were enslaved and are on the journey from slavery to freedom. This is of course only symbolic, and stands as a reminder for Jewish people of their history.

The Pesach holiday and its tradition are very nice, but the most important thing is remembering the history. However, while growing up, I’ve learned that there are many other struggles for freedom that are not less important to achieve. Precisely because of this history that the Jewish people share, I believe they should support other struggles and journeys from slavery to freedom!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect all Jewish people (myself included) to change the world and join all struggles for freedom. What I mean is more on the moral level. Because my people in the past have suffered great disasters and pain, I wouldn’t like any other people to experience that.

Therefore I support the freedom of women and children from human trafficking and sex slavery. I support the freedom of women who are enslaved by their men and the patriarchal societies. I support any man and woman who are oppressed and can’t express who they are because of their gender, color, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, or any other identity category.  I support the struggle of the Palestinian people to become free people and have their own state. I support the freedom of the Syrian people, Yemen people, Ukrainian people, and Kenyan people from terrorist groups. I support all men and women who struggle to live their lives freely, with human rights and dignity.

Shall I go on? I only mentioned a few struggles that were on the news in the last couple of weeks, but obviously this list of examples is long, very long. There are so many out there who struggle for freedom every day. So while we are having our Pesach holiday, I think we should not forget them, and support these people wherever they are.

For everybody all around the globe, Happy Passover! May you all win your freedom!


Ronie Barel

verhuisde van Israël naar Nederland, activist, blogger

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