Friday, May 13, 2016
At Touro Synagogue seventh day of Passover 2016
On the seventh day of Passover at Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI, visitors included Rabbi Yaakov and Kayla Lasson. Kayla is the daughter of Jackie and Rabbi Marc Mandel. After greeting the congregation, Rabbi Mandel turned the dais over to his son-in-law. Rabbi Lasson asked, "What do we learn from the exodus...from going from slavery to freedom?" On a basic level we learn that we never want to be slaves. Never again. But on a broader level we should learn that as a people, we should never put another nation or group in the same position. "Never Again" is a mantra we hear many times, usually in reference to the suffering of the Jewish people. But is this enough? On a more universal level, "Never Again" means not only that we should never be slaves, but we should endeavor that no one else is put in this position. As Hillel says in Pirke Avot, "if I am only for myself, who am I?" It's not just about us!