|A traditional Passover Seder plate from Italy 17th Century|
We have to tell it every year to help us remember. We eat bitter herbs so that we never forget the bitter times of slavery. We dip parsley in salt water so that we never forget the tears.
Does it make it easier to bear knowing that this happened not today but thousands of years ago? Maybe.
Today is the anniversary of the liberation of Belsen in 1945. When the soldiers arrived they were horrified to see piles of dead and rotting corpses and thousands of sick and starving prisoners.
Does it make it easier to bear knowing that this happened not today but 69 years ago? Not really.
Today in 1994 Rwandans were being massacred, not by the thousands but by the hundred thousands. The massacre continued until mid-July.
Does it make it easier to bear knowing that this happened not today but 20 years ago. No.
At this moment, as you’re reading this, people are being murdered in Syria.
Does it make it easier to bear knowing that this is in a far-away land?
Recent news reports told of the liberation of sex slaves locked in rooms in the UK. From where I'm sitting it doesn't get any closer to home than that.
So is there any point in retelling the story of the injustices of long ago? Yes. If it makes just one person stop and think about how they should treat other human beings then it's worth the retelling.
And on a lighter note it is a much-enjoyed tradition and a great excuse for a slap up meal!
|14th Century painting of Pharaoh's army and chariots|