At my daughter’s model seder, as all of the parents smiled behind their iPhone cameras, proud of their children learning the various parts of the seder, I watched as one mother broke into tears. The next day, she stopped me in the hallway and explained her reaction.
Her father grew up in the Soviet Union. Each Passover, she hears the story of how her father would go to the secret synagogue, with a black sheet over his head, and bring matzah to his family for Passover seder. Today, she watches her son chant the words of the Haggadah fluently in Hebrew, openly holding a piece of matzah, standing proudly in a synagogue in America.
As we begin the seder with the words of the bread of affliction, we recite, “Once we were slaves in Egypt, one day we will be free.”
For so many, those are not only words, but those words are our lives. May it be a year of freedom for us all.