Welcoming the Stranger on Passover

Now that Purim is over, the Jewish community is busily preparing for Passover. As a matter of fact, the Torah reading cycle and the various Sabbaths that anticipate Passover actually have us preparing for weeks – long before Purim even begins. And with the anticipation of Passover comes a proliferation of special seder events, such as the ubiquitous chocolate seder for kids, and, more significantly, the various women’s seders that take place in communities across North America.

Passover is an excellent time to reach out and welcome the “stranger.” It is part of the moral imperative of outreach in Judaism, which is especially poignant for Passover. It is on this holiday that we begin the seder by saying “Let all those who are hungry come and eat.” This doesn’t have to mean just hungry for food – it can also mean hungry for the richness of the Jewish community.

That is why it is important as we plan our home seders, particularly specially themed seders for women, that we make sure to include all of the women in our Jewish community. We need to extend a special invitation to those who are not Jewish but are living in our midst, raising Jewish children. While we welcome the “stranger,” we should make sure they don’t feel like a stranger. Rather we should let them know that they are indeed invited around the table.

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