As we celebrate Passover, those of us in the Jewish community working on social and racial justice must simultaneously be proud of our work defending voting rights during the 2021 session of the Georgia General Assembly and not be satisfied that our work is done. We have neither lost nor won the day. Our efforts to thwart an abusive overreach by a political party to hold on to power at the expense of the weakest among us have been successful in eliminating many of the most reprehensible policies. But the harder, more demanding work of ensuring all citizens in our state are provided the democratic platform to have their voices heard at the ballot box has just begun.
While being immorally jailed in Birmingham, Ala., for a peaceful protest, Dr. King wrote, “We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.”
The story of Passover reminds us of our freedom from Pharaoh’s bondage but not the end of historical persecution. Similarly, for our friends in the black community of our nation, physical bondage may have concluded over 150 years ago but historical persecution lingers.
A quote by Yaacov Cohen eloquently ties Passover to our social and racial justice work. “This is true freedom: Our ability to shape reality. We have the power to initiate, create and change reality rather than only react and survive it. How can we all educate our children to true freedom? Teach them not to look at reality as defining their acts but to look at their acts as defining reality.”