JONATHAN WITTENBERG

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - SE­NIOR RABBI, MASORTI JU­DAISM

THE HAGGADAH, the Passover story, is the foun­da­tion of Ju­daism. Our peo­ple is born, not amidst bat­tles and vic­to­ries, but in slav­ery. Through ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in­jus­tice, cru­elty and the loss of free­dom, we learn the im­por­tance of jus­tice, truth, com­pas­sion and lib­erty. These val­ues form the ba­sis of our faith, our ethics and the so­ci­ety we strive to cre­ate.

We have car­ried this vi­sion through ev­ery coun­try of our dis­per­sion and our re­turn home to our land. Our re­peated his­tory of marginal­i­sa­tion, per­se­cu­tion and ex­ile has merely sharp­ened the aware­ness that we, and ev­ery­one, are safe only in a world of jus­tice, truth and free­dom.

God heard our cry in Egypt; God al­ways heeds the tears of the op­pressed. But God is not ob­vi­ously re­vealed in our day in su­per­nat­u­ral signs and won­ders; God doesn’t reach down and in­ter­vene in his­tory.

In­stead, God seeks us as part­ners. A frag­ment of the di­vine re­sides in us all, com­mand­ing us to work for the sa­cred vi­sion of a re­deemed world, free from slav­ery, traf­fick­ing, hunger, home­less­ness and cru­elty.

Tyranny is grow­ing across the globe. Noth­ing is more ur­gent than the an­cient Jewish task of pur­su­ing jus­tice, truth, free­dom and the dig­nity of all.

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