open letter newport ri

On this weekend, when we celebrate both Passover and Easter, we are reminded of those who today – in our country and around the world – are struggling for freedom.

I think the words of Elie Wiesel in the preface to his Passover Haggadah are particularly relevant today and equally applicable to both Jews and Christians, and frankly all people around the world.

He initially writes of the Jews exodus from Egypt, the Passover story, and how the Jews followed Moses into the desert, their “summon to freedom was stronger than fear.”

He later talks about how Passover, and I suspect Easter, speaks of a “cry against indifference, a cry for compassion.”

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And he ends his preface with the story of the last Passover Seder with his family as the Nazis approached their small town in the Carpathian Mountains. They said the prayers in muffled tones. “We hardly dared ask ourselves if G-d would intervene to save us. He had not often intervened in the past. Would He this time? Passover is also a story of hope.”

We can find these same sentiments in the challenges we face here in America, in the struggles around the world, in those who desperately hope for freedom, for life. I have always believed the Passover story is not over, and that on this holiday, and I do suspect Easter as well, we should take a few minutes to remember those who continue their journey through the “desert,” with hope, and a belief that freedom is stronger than fear.