LAURA JANNER-KLAUSNER

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - SE­NIOR RABBI TO RE­FORM JU­DAISM

THE SEDER is not just a cel­e­bra­tion of Jewish eman­ci­pa­tion. When we tell our story of free­dom from slav­ery, and the ex­o­dus from Egypt, we are re­mind­ing our­selves not just of the past, but the present too.

It’s a global dis­grace that to­day, there may be as many as 46 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing in mod­ern slav­ery. Free­dom is not just a con­cept. Pesach is not just a metaphor­i­cal mo­ment. With the num­ber of mod­ern slaves in­creas­ing year on year — for ex­am­ple, through the recruitment of child sol­diers, sex traf­fick­ing, forced labour, do­mes­tic servi­tude — a lack of free­dom is a stain of shame on our mod­ern world.

The Passover Seder is the most universal of Jewish mo­ments, and by no coin­ci­dence the most ob­served Jewish custom in Bri­tain. We should be driven to ob­serve the Seder not just be­cause of our de­sire to cel­e­brate our free­dom, but through our de­ter­mi­na­tion that oth­ers should share in it.

As Jews, we ac­cept our re­spon­si­bil­ity to bring free­dom where there is op­pres­sion, and our share of cul­pa­bil­ity when we don’t speak up against it.

For me, the Seder is an op­por­tu­nity to start to rec­tify some of the most press­ing con­cerns in our world.

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