Pesach, the Jewish festival of Passover commencing this weekend, memorialises when the Jewish people became a nation over three thousand years ago. The overriding theme is liberation from subjugation in Egypt. Every year we come together to read this story from the Hagadah (the book), with the youngest child asking four questions that answer, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” The head of the family replies that we were once refugees and strangers in a strange land, enduring enforced slavery.
We then embark as if we were on the actual journey from those dark years of oppression to freedom, crossing the Red Sea, receiving the 10 Commandments, enduring the hostile wilderness before reaching the promised land of Israel. This year will be different, having survived the perils of the Pandemic we are required to celebrate in our own separate homes and pray for the safety and wellbeing of us all, and especially those who have also escaped seeking a better life on our shores.
We remember those Black Lives still being oppressed and the innocent women being abused, harassed, and brutalised. We pray that all of us recognise that we all have responsibility for their respect, safety, and security.
We have shared the determination of all faiths who have worked so well together with Barnet Council, the Voluntary and Business sectors, Public Health, our local Covid Champions, and the NHS.
We hope and pray this Passover, with Easter and Ramadan to soon follow, that we can enjoy the freedom and liberty to be with our loved ones once again when we all have defeated this Pandemic.
President, Barnet Multi Faith Forum