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    The tug of war

    tug of warThe seder pulls us in two directions at once. It’s a tug of war between Exodus and enslavement.

    One minute we groan beneath the weight of oppression, the next we are exultant at being free. One minute we eat the bread of affliction, the next we drink the wine of joy. One minute it is Avadim Hayinu, the next Chad Gadya.

    There is a conflict of emotions – anger at the Egyptians, gratitude to the Divine Redeemer.

    A kaleidoscope of personal memories – Pesach when Grandpa was alive, bitterness at his passing; seder when the childish voice said its first Mah Nishtanah, excitement to see how the baby has blossomed.

    We are led this way and that, forward and back, to pleasure and pain – it can’t be Pesach without the tug of war and the tug of warmth.

    On one thing we are all united, at one: no human being has the right to degrade or demonise another, no human being should ever have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

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