This Passover 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)., as we commemorate our liberation from slavery, we draw our attention to those still in bondage. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a widely acclaimed organization of farmworkers who are working to end abusive conditions in Florida’s tomato fields, which have long created fertile ground for modern-day slavery to flourish. Over the last decade, their Campaign for Fair Food—led by farmworkers and supported by people of conscience across the country—has brought about historic changes in the fields. We celebrate their victories while recognizing that much work is left to be done. With our own story in mind, we commit ourselves to working alongside them until they, too, can commemorate their liberation.
At Your Lit. Order. The festive meal conducted on Passover night, in a specific order with specific rituals to symbolize aspects of the Exodus from Egypt. It is conducted following the haggadah, a book for this purpose. The mystics of Sefat also created a seder for Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees.:
The seder plate contains a variety of foods that symbolize the Jewish journey from slavery to freedom. To raise awareness about the Campaign for Fair Food, we have been invited to add a tomato to our seder plates, a symbol of the farmworker who picked it. The foods on the seder plate are meant to elicit questions that lead to the telling of the story of the Exodus. We hope the tomato will lead to questions about the legacy of slavery today and to discussion about the progress being made by the CIW—supported by Jewish communities—to bring about a just, slavery-free workplace.
We suggest that you print the PDF below and distribute it to participants at your seder.
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights is an organization of rabbis from all streams of Judaism that acts on the Jewish imperative to respect and protect the human rights of all people. Human Rights Shabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends., T’ruah’s annual celebration of Jewish values and universal human rights, is celebrated by more than 130 Jewish communities around the globe.