While PassoverPassover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc).
celebrates the initial liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, ShavuotShavuot is the holiday fifty days after Passover and commemorates when the Israelite liberation from Egypt culminates with the giving of the Torah. Traditionally, Jews study in an all-night study session, eat dairy products (one interpretation is that the Torah is like milk to us), and read both the Ten Commandments and the Book of Ruth.
marks the culmination of the process of liberation, when the Jews became an autonomous community with their own laws and standards. Counting up to Shavuot reminds us of this process of moving from a slave mentality to a more liberated one.
This year, the CBH Anti-Racism Project has created a way for each of us, at home, to mark these days with reflections on race and freedom, creating a unique Counting the OmerFrom the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days.
Against Racism experience. Each week is structured as follows:
If you haven’t yet read the article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh, we highly recommend it as a first step so that there is a context for your learning. Its basic premise is that as white people we aren’t even aware of many of our privileges and that noticing them is an important first step. The article can be found here
“Reminder – Antiracism is not a self-improvement project. When you make it about you, constructive criticism feels like a very personal attack. When BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are at the center of your antiracism work, constructive criticism feels like a welcome opportunity to learn and do better.” – Marie Beech @bariejbeech
This quote, for me, is essential. If you can stay curious about why your immediate assumption was X, and not getA writ of divorce. Traditionally, only a man can grant his wife a get. Liberal Jews have amended this tradition, making divorce more egalitarian.
defensive, you can think of it as an interesting puzzle to unravel. Then, this work can be much more meaningful, and you’ll start to be able to see racism and privilege in all sorts of places that you never noticed before. If, however, you take these discoveries as criticisms about yourself, you are likely to become defensive and unreceptive to the possibility of seeing things differently.
– Katia Segrè CohenPriest. Descendants of Aaron who served in the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, in the absence of a Temple, Jews continue to keep track of who is a Cohen. A Cohen is accorded certain privileges in synagogue and is forbidden from entering a graveyard or marrying a divorcee. Priesthood is patrilineal – if one’s father was a Cohen, then one is a Cohen.