I am writing to tell you about a new Passover Haggadah – a Telling of sorrow and transformation. It is the multireligious Earth and Justice Freedom-Seder. You can use it in your friends-and-family celebration, or in congregational, communal, or interfaith Seders.
Or - – the newest, bravest possibility – you can use it on the street, challenging the Pharaohs of our time.
More than tell you about it – to give it to you as a gift from The Shalom Center. Just click on those links to find it. Directions to download are below.
But first I want to tell you about how we got here. In 1968, I was so deeply moved by the murder of Rev. Martin Luther King a week before Passover began that I found myself callled to create a totally new kind of Passover Seder, the first Freedom Seder. It was new because it celebrated the ongoing struggle of Black Americans for freedom alongside the ancient struggle for freedom by the Jewish people.
Now, 53 years later, all of us are facing the most dangerous crisis in all of human history --- one that puts the web of life on Planet Earth In deadly danger. I cannot help but hear the language of the Exodus wailing on the front pagesNow allof our newspapers:
Plagues of fire, flood, famine, in unprepared places everywhere on Earth. Caused by the uncontrolled greed of corporations whose business plan is to burn the world for greater profit. Who remind me of the biblical Pharaohs in their arrogance and cruelty.i
Plagues of asthma epidemics and cancer epidemics caused by oil fumes and coal dust imposed by the same fossil-fuel corporations on low-income neighborhoods, often housing People of Color. Pharaohs who turn where you live into a lethal prison.
Yet I also hear the voices of not just a single prophetic family like Moses, Aaron, Miriam. But a gathering movement that is both committed to change and frustrated by the deadlock In the US government. A movement that is turning to a new target – the sources of money that keep the Carbon Pharaohs afloat. A movement caught in love of Earth, fear for our own lives and happiness, and anger at the literally deadly deadlock bought by billions of murderous dollars.
That movement needs deep faith. And the language of deep faith that calls to others of deep faith who have only begun to stir from sleep into the Great Reawakening. That movement needs the symbols, the nonviolent actions that grow from deep faith.
So we have turned to the next step in making Passover a time for transforming the future as well as celebrating the past. I have worked with others at The Shalom Center and with several activist-thinkers elsewhere to create a new multireligious Freedom Seder committed to Earth and Justice. It draws not only on the biblical memories that Judaism has turned into Passover but also on the Passover-related memories that Christians have enfolded in Holy Week and the Exodus-related stories that Islam has found wrapped into Quran.
We have brought together a new multireligious amalgam called ExodusAlliance.org to organize Passover actions challenging Chase Bank, one of the most entrenched investors in the companies that burn Earth, our common home, and other bank-like pools of great wealth that comes from us. We invite you to look at the website, read its resources, let its graphics seep into your soul, and then take action with your friends, your clergy, your students.
And to download the Earth & Justice Freedom Seder , click here:
88To download the Seder as a pdf, click again on the tiny downward arrow in the upper-right corner of the black background that surrounds the Matzah-Globe graphic.
Now make more copies, read the Freedom-Seder aloud with your friends, choose the parts that would work best on the sidewalk outside a Chase Bank near you, and become part of the movement to heal Earth and Humankind.
That’s our gift to you. It’s free. Now, we ask for a gift from you to us, to keep this creative work sprouting and growing through other festivals and fasts, despite deadly deadlocks. We ask for the money it takes to pay for outreach, for a National Organizer, for inreach, for imagination. Every gift will be helpful; every gift from $72 to $720 will be transformative. Clicking on the Contribution banner on rhe left margin of this page is the way to support this prophetic pioneering. Thank you!
“We have the whole world in our hands/ We have the frogs and the forests in our hands/ We have our children and their children in our hands/ We have the whole world in our hands!”
What we do with it is up to us. To you. Please click on the Contribute banner on the left margin of this page.
Blessings to you of shalom, salaam, peace, paz, mir, namaste!-- Arthur