We Each Have an Egypt

By: Juan Gilces, Campus Coordinator

This week, millions are observing the spring holiday of Passover, a week-long celebration of the exodus of the ancient Israelites and their freedom from Egyptian bondage. While this holiday commemorates a biblical event, its reenactment follows a unique booklet passed down from one generation to another, the “Haggadah”. In Hebrew, “haggadah” means ‘telling’ or ‘to tell’. At the “seder” table, we are commanded to not only tell the story of Passover, but to relive it. By eating bitter herbs, dipping our vegetables in salt water, and eating matzah, we are given the opportunity to experience with all our senses the exodus, just as the Israelites did thousands of years ago.

Why do we do this? Why is it still important today? Not only does the holiday unite the Jewish people and others that we are able to invite to our seder tables, but it is a story that can reach every person individually. Each of us have our own exodus story. We have a story, a personal narrative to share, and an Egypt, an obstacle which we are struggling with or have overcome. This holiday is full of symbolism, but most importantly, it is filled with personal narratives.

At the David Project, we encourage our students to share their own personal narrative about Israel with their peers in order to better connect with them. There isn’t a better way to advocate for Israel on campus than to share about Israel in your very own words and from your own experience. This passover season, in the spirit of unification, of sharing personal stories and overcoming barriers, find someone to reach out to. Tell them your story and listen and learn from theirs. 

Chag Sameach, happy holiday!