A Brick on the Seder Table

This is meant to be read by all of the guests at the Passover seder during the Maggid portion of the evening. 

The brick was used to oppress us in Egypt, as it is written: “And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick.”

Brick was a weight on our backs and a stumble at our feet. We built great cities and temples for the glory of their domination.

Tonight, as we sit together, there is a brick on the table to remember the bitterness of oppression wherever it stands and has stood.

As we built cities in Egypt, bricks build walls and borders today that divide nation and nation, people and people.

To be free of domination, we must tear down dividing walls where they stand—at the borders of our nations, at the mekhitzah of our synagogues, at the gates of our homes and communities.

Tonight, as we sit together, there is a brick on the table to dismantle binaries and divisions wherever they stand and have stood.

Brick is a slur for some of the most vulnerable in our world. It is used by the fortunate to keep down trans women who don’t or can’t or don’t want to pass.

Those of us who are oppressed but build walls between us and our sisters are like the Wicked child—they leave themselves out of the collective body, and thus they will not be redeemed and liberated.

Tonight, as we sit together, there is a brick on the table to embrace our unity in struggle and liberation against walls wherever they stand and have stood.

For we all are built and build ourselves, none of us is born perfect or finished.

Our bodies are temples that we must build up from the earth; from nothing we come and in ashes we end. If all we are is adamah, earth, then we can sculpt and shape ourselves in our own image.

Tonight, as we sit together, there is a brick on the table to remind us to shape our bodies in holiness, when it is safe to do so.

It was a brick thrown at Stonewall that began our struggle. Tonight we consecrate prophets like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and other trans women of color who may rest in power.

Their bravery has begun the long struggle of liberation for us all. Let a plague of bricks rain down like locusts on the heads of the unkosher pigs in uniforms, until we are all free.

Tonight, as we sit together, there is a brick on the table to remind us that in every tool of construction there is potential for destruction, and where there is potential for destruction there is potential for liberation.

Let us build together!

Let us build ourselves!

Let us tear down the walls!

Let us throw the first bricks!

Let us support all of our sisters!

Let us remember the bitterness of oppression!

Let us shape the world into one of freedom, justice, and liberation for all!


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