March 31, 2023

The very first commandment to the new nation of Israel was given just before the 10th and most

deadly plague was delivered to the Egyptians. Surprisingly, it wasn’t about the pascal lamb and
the blood on the doorposts. That was #2. The very first was the commandment to tell the story
about what was to happen – the exodus from Egypt — to our descendants. It was about

That is what we will do next week as we gather with family and friends for Passover seders,
here in Winnipeg or at our community Seder next Friday evening, or anywhere and everywhere
around the world.

Passover is our version of American Thanksgiving – our biggest family gatherings of the year.
And we do so to fulfil that first commandment – we read from our Haggadahs, perhaps the
traditional ones or more likely the many wonderful modern versions that let us tell our ancient
stories in ways that we can understand. We gather and we tell stories.
However, three years ago, in 2020, the world froze and we stopped gathering because of the
pandemic, just a few weeks before Passover. We were resilient, and we all found ways to
recreate the Seder experience online. We learned about Zoom. We learned how to create and
share digital Haggadahs, and we sort of gathered online.

But we all know that storytelling is best done in person. Our Passover story reminds us that our
ancestors left the isolation of slavery in favour of gathering as a new people, and that their
resilience can be our resilience as well. These days, each Passover marks our progress back
into the world. Let us find joy again in the youngest still singing the Four Questions no matter
their age, and let’s smile and laugh and sing and eat, surrounded by love and connection and

My wish for all of us is that this Passover be a springboard into our new lives, for all of us to
engage more fully and deeply with each other again as a community, here at Temple Shalom
and in the wonderful world that eagerly awaits our return.

B’shalom, in peace,
Rabbi Allan