At the Huffington Post, Rabbi Edward Bernstein draws parallels between African-American and Jewish struggles and suggests that the two groups can learn from each other's efforts to preserve human dignity.
The Israelites may have left Egypt, but in many ways, we still experience Egypt. Humans still treat people who are different as "other." Until that stops, we are all still enslaved to prejudice and its consequences. We only need to look at the two biggest news stories of the past month. In Toulouse, France, a rabbi and three young children were killed in a Jewish school for no reason other than they were Jews. In Sanford, Fla., Trayvon Martin was killed for "walking while black." We come together at the seder table to make it a table of brotherhood and sisterhood. It's a table of celebrating our common humanity and learning from one another in our differences.
Dr. King had plans to spend Passover seder in New York with Rabbi Heschel at his home in April 1968. Tragically, King was killed just days before. While we don't have giants in our midst today like King and Heschel were in their day, the African American and Jewish American communities must still come together to carry on the work of Dr. King and Dr. Heschel.
Our task before us on Passover is to teach our children: Don't be complacent. Don't ignore the world. Be a part of the world. See the suffering around you and feel is personally. Do something about it. Feel the sense of liberation when you bring relief and hope. Let your feet do the praying. May we be so blessed.
Read Edward Bernstein's entire piece at the Huffington Post.