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Republican Plagues

Passover will be ending in a few hours. A week ago last night, we hosted a Seder for the two families with whom we’ve shared Passover for many years. That means I got to choose the Haggadah. We’ve experimented with several over the years, and now own multiple copies of each. I never remember what it is I like about one or dislike about another. After a quick review, I selected the Haggadah prepared by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, a Reform organization. It was first published in 1974; we own the 1994 revision.

I was happy with the choice. I miss some of the traditional Haggadah’s text, but this one reads better, has some lovely supplementary passages, and drawings by the artist Leonard Baskin that are beautiful and provocative.

As you may know, there comes a time in the Seder when the participants pour ten drops of wine from their wine glasses onto their plates with fingers or spoons, in memory of the ten plagues described in Exodus that God brought upon the Egyptians. In preparation for that moment, the Hagaddah we used has a passage intended to universalize and personalize the plagues. The passage, to be read by the participants in unison, goes as follows:

Each drop of wine we pour is hope and prayer
that people will cast out the plagues that threaten everyone
everywhere they are found, beginning in our own hearts:

The making of war,
the teaching of hate and violence,
despoliation of the earth,
perversion of justice and of government,
fomenting vice and crime,
neglect of human needs,
oppression of nations and peoples,
corruption of culture,
subjugation of science, learning, and human discourse,
the erosion of freedoms.

Wow! Who knew the Republican Party had gotten hold of this Haggadah and used it as the basis for their platform?

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Categories: Politics, Religion
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