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 +====== Tikkun Passover 2009 Supplement in Plain Text ======
 +Some folks have had problems with the font size on the 2009 Passover Supplement.  The original is from [[http://​www.tikkun.org/​article.php/​seder_2009]].  Below is a version converted to plain text with acroread and then reformatted in emacs.  Use it if you find it useful. ​
 + --- //​[[priestdo@cs.vassar.edu|Greg Priest-Dorman]] 2009/04/06 09:53//
 +^{{people:​priestdo:​tips:​tikkun.txt|Download tikkun.txt}}|
 +A Passover Seder
 +Haggadah Supplement
 +For Ethically Sensitive Jews and our non-Jewish allies.
 +(You don’t have to be Jewish to create or attend a Seder—or to adopt
 +the approach to spiritual reality embodied in this text).
 +by Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine and Rabbi, Beyt
 +Tikkun Synagogue (which meets in both S.F. and Berkeley. More info:
 +This text is not meant to be a replacement for but a supplement to the
 +traditional Haggadah. Feel free to make copies of this to use at any
 +seder you attend, or to transform this in ways that work best for you!
 +Seventy-eight percent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama in 2008,
 +and a majority of non-Jewish Americans joined them. The message was
 +clear: • end the war in Iraq and let our troops come home • end the
 +war on the poor and the environment • stop favoring the rich and
 +corporate interests.
 +Our Seder celebrates the first liberation struggle of our people,
 +overcoming slavery and proclaiming to the world that the “way things
 +are” is not the only way things can be. In the face of oppression, we
 +proclaimed to the Pharoah’s empire that there is a God (YHVH) who is
 +the Force of Healing and Transformation in the world—the force that
 +makes possible the transformation from “what is” to “what ought to
 +At our Seder tonight we celebrate the steps we’ve taken toward
 +liberation. We look at where we are as a people and as human beings in
 +our struggle to build a world of freedom and peace for all.
 +We rejoice together at the election of an African American as
 +But we are concerned about the outcome of the global meltdown of our
 +economic and political system. We are now experiencing the results of
 +decades of materialism and selfishness. Too many Americans closed
 +their eyes to the suffering of those who have been living in poverty,
 +even in the midst of American affluence. Now the suffering is
 +spreading to the rest of us.
 +The American economic system can create prosperity, but also
 +cultivates greed, fraud, and a selfish “looking-outfor- number-one”
 +mentality. This offends Jewish values, and has hurt our souls—even if
 +we ignored these spiritual and psychic costs while the system was
 +providing material goodies for many of us.
 +The media, corporations,​ and their friends in government urged us to
 +translate our spiritual and intimacy needs into consumption. This
 +worked for some but produced alienation, loneliness, widespread
 +emotional depression and a huge global anger at our society from
 +others around the world. With individualism tearing down communities
 +and teaching the ethos of “looking out for number one,” some people
 +even turned to various religious fundamentalisms as a way to resist
 +the global ethos of capitalism. These fundamentalisms cannot be
 +defeated by our insistence on the value of democracy and human
 +rights—not unless we simultaneously recognize and address what has
 +been appealing in these old-time religions: their insistence that
 +there is a hunger for meaning and purpose in life that cannot be
 +achieved by material accumulation or endless new technologies,​ and
 +that people hunger for loving community and connection to the mystery
 +and majesty of the universe as much as for money or power or sexual
 +We do not want a return to the economic arrangements of the past few
 +decades. The false equation of “progress” with the accumulation of
 +material goods and endless new technologies produced a global
 +environmental crisis as an orgy of consumption destroyed much of the
 +life support system of the planet. Only a fundamental transformation
 +of the ethical and spiritual foundation of our economic and political
 +order can save humanity and the planet in the 21st century. Developing
 +this new vision is the task for spiritual progressives from every
 +religious background.
 +Many progressive Jews are finding the ethical and spiritual foundation
 +for this transformation in the Jewish tradition. Jewish values support
 +generosity, caring for others, and loving the stranger, while
 +rejecting the extreme individualism,​ alienation and loneliness that
 +accompanies the dominant ethos of American society.
 +At our Seder tonight we challenge Western societies to adopt specific
 +economic programs that flow from these Jewish values: • A National
 +Bank that gives loans without charging interest • A legal system based
 +on the “obligation to care” for each other, not just look out for
 +“number one” • An economy that prescribes a sabbatical year for
 +everyone (the same year—the whole society taking off one year to not
 +produce, but instead to focus on what we as a human race want to
 +accomplish in the next six years) • A Global Marshall Plan as an
 +extension of the Torah’s notion of a tithe • Single payer universal
 +health care • Unrestricted immigration • Protection of workers’
 +rights. ​ Unfortunately,​ we as Jews also have to face a rather
 +troubling reality. Within our own community these wonderful Jewish
 +ethical values have too often been ignored. Too many prominent Jews
 +have followed the narrow path of self interest.
 +Similarly, Israel, which describes itself as “the State of the Jewish
 +people,” has failed to embody the highest values of the Jewish
 +tradition in the way that it treats our brothers and sisters the
 +Palestinians. The human rights violations and the slaughter of
 +Palestinians in Gaza, the seizing of Arab lands, the imprisonment of
 +thousands of Palestinians without trial and the revelations by Israeli
 +soldiers themselves of acts of brutality in Gaza and the West Bank are
 +not isolated incidents. They are not the product of evil
 +soldiers. They are the inevitable consequence of imposing and
 +enforcing occupation. ​ We are not Jews who reject Israel or think it
 +is the worst human rights violator on the planet! The U.S. role in
 +Iraq, the genocide in Darfur, the repression of Buddhism in Tibet, and
 +the extremes of repression in Iran and several Arab states are moral
 +outrages of equal or greater proportion. Nor do we excuse the human
 +rights violations and terrorism perpetrated by Hamas. Every act of
 +violence against civilians must be vehemently opposed. ​ Tonight at our
 +Seder table, and again on the High Holidays, we affirm that our
 +special responsibility as Jews is to look critically at our own
 +individual and communal behavior. It would be hypocritical to
 +celebrate the freedom achieved from slavery while ignoring the ways
 +that we as Americans and/or as Jews and/or as supporters of the state
 +of Israel have been acting as Pharaoh to the Palestinian people. ​ We
 +must not let our long history as victims of oppression or our anger at
 +God for not having saved us from the Holocaust become the foundation
 +for adopting the religion of our enemies: the religion that says that
 +we can only trust in our power, our army, our ability to wipe out our
 +enemies. This false God, parading under the title of “being
 +realistic,​” stands in stark contrast to the traditional voice of
 +Jewish compassion, generosity, and caring for others. ​ The whole point
 +of surviving as Jews is to challenge that religion of violence and
 +domination and affirm instead the possibility of a world ruled by the
 +logic of love and generosity. When we were utterly degraded as slaves,
 +we experienced God as the power that was there redeeming us into
 +freedom and sacred service. Now it is we who are powerful, and when
 +our Jewish community aligns with the use of power in heartless and
 +cruel ways against another people we feel deep grief. Our Torah says:
 +“When you come into your land, do not oppress the stranger. Remember
 +that you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” The Torah commands us
 +positively: “Thou shalt love the stranger.”
 +We must use our Seder to begin a conversation about how to create a
 +broad social movement for peace, justice, and ecological
 +sanity. President Obama needs to hear from those who are not trapped
 +in the “inside-the-beltway” logic that dominates the national media
 +and our national political leadership. If we do not make fundamental
 +changes in our economic system and in our approach to foreign policy,
 +we may find ourselves in deeper despair this time next year.
 +Tonight at our Seder we will tell heroic stories of the past, but we
 +must never imagine our past suffering gives us a moral pass to ignore
 +the ethical distortions of the present moment. Our Seder must help us
 +plan a way to transform the present. But we must do so with a strong
 +dose of compassion, both for our own people and for the Palestinian
 +people. We have co-created the current mess. We have both suffered
 +from so much post-traumatic stress that sometimes people on both sides
 +of this struggle fail to recognize the humanity of the other.
 +As Jews, we must challenge our own people’s distorted vision and blend
 +that challenge with deep love and caring, not just chastisements.
 +Americans of every faith can make a huge contribution to this process
 +by challenging the dominant vision in the West about how to achieve
 +“homeland security”—namely through domination and power over
 +others. Our Torah, and almost every other major religious and
 +spiritual tradition, teaches a different message: that security can
 +best be achieved through generosity, caring for others, and love. This
 +revolutionary message must be given teeth, which is why we at Tikkun
 +Magazine and Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in the Bay Area have formed the
 +interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives and launched a campaign
 +for a Global Marshall Plan that would have the U.S. and other advanced
 +industrial societies dedicate between 2–5% of our Gross Domestic
 +Product each year for the next twenty to once and for all end global
 +poverty, homelessness,​ hunger, inadequate education, and inadequate
 +health care, and to repair the global environment (details on this
 +plan and on how to join us are at
 +www.spiritualprogressives.org). Rather than attempt to rebuild an
 +economic system that has been destroying the environment and
 +encouraging an ethos of selfishness,​ our goal as spiritual
 +progressives is to build a new global economy based on ancient
 +spiritual values of love, kindness, generosity and caring equally for
 +the well-being of everyone on the planet. That this kind of miracle
 +can happen, that what everybody thought was impossible can suddenly
 +become possible, because there is a power in the universe that is the
 +power of love and transformation,​ this is what we experienced in Egypt
 +and what we are seeking to enliven within ourselves by creating this
 +Seder. We see that beyond the self, beyond family and country, we are
 +part of the unfolding and evolution of consciousness in the universe,
 +and we celebrate and recommit ourselves to that Force of Healing and
 +So let’s now close our eyes. Can you see the universe and your place
 +in it? Affirm now your role as partner with God in the healing and
 +transformation of all that is. The Seder can also be a time to do
 +“tikkun” (to heal and transform parts of ourselves and our society).
 +We are gathered here tonight to affirm our continuity with the
 +generations of Jews who kept alive the vision of freedom in the
 +Passover story. For thousands of years, Jews (and our non-Jewish
 +allies) have affirmed this vision by participating in the Passover
 +Seder. We not only remember the Exodus but actually relive it,
 +bringing its transformative power into our own lives.
 +The Hebrew word for Egypt, mitzrayim, means “narrow straits.”
 +Traditionally,​ mitzrayim has been understood to mean a spiritual
 +state, the “narrow place” of confusion, fragmentation,​ and spiritual
 +disconnection. Liberation requires us to embrace that which we have
 +been taught to scorn within ourselves and others, including the
 +split-off parts from our own consciousness that we find intolerable
 +and that we project onto some “evil Other.” The Seder can also be a
 +time to reflect on those parts of ourselves.
 +Israel, according to the Torah, left Egypt with “a mixed multitude.”
 +The Jewish people began as a multicultural mélange of people attracted
 +to a vision of social transformation. What makes us Jews is not some
 +biological fact, but our willingness to proclaim the message of those
 +ancient slaves: (Say Together) The world can be changed, we can be
 +Blessing over the first cup of wine.
 +The saltwater on our table traditionally represents the tears of the
 +Israelite slaves. The green vegetables we dip in the water suggest the
 +possibility of growth and renewal even in the midst of grief.
 +The greens on the table also remind us of our commitment to protect
 +the planet from ecological destruction. ​ Instead of focusing narrowly
 +on what we may “realistically” accomplish in today’s world, we must
 +refocus the conversation on what the planet needs in order to survive
 +and flourish. We must get out of the narrow place in our thinking and
 +look at the world not as a resource, but as a focus for awe, wonder,
 +and amazement. We must reject the societal story that identifies
 +success and progress with endless growth and accumulation of
 +things. Instead we will focus on acknowledging that we already have
 +enough; we need to stop exploiting our resources and instead care for
 +the earth.
 +Dip the greens in saltwater and say your own personal blessings for
 +the earth.
 +Discuss as a group or in pairs at the Seder table:
 +1. Egypt, mitzrayim in Hebrew, comes from the word tzar: the “narrow
 +place,” the constricted place. In what way are you personally still
 +constricted?​ Are you able to see yourself as part of the unity of all
 +being, a manifestation of God’s love on earth? Are you able to
 +overcome the ego issues that separate us from each other? Can you see
 +the big picture, or do you get so caught in the narrow places and
 +limited struggles of your own life that it’s hard to see beyond your
 +personal struggles? What concrete steps could you take to change that?
 +2. Do you believe that we can eventually eradicate wars, poverty, and
 +starvation? Or do you believe that no one really cares about anyone
 +but themselves, and that we will always be stuck in some version of
 +the current mess? Or do you think that such a belief is itself part of
 +what keeps us in this mess? If so, how would you suggest we spread a
 +more hopeful message and deal with the cynicism and self-doubt that
 +always accompanies us when we start talking about changing the world?
 +3. What experiences have you had that give you hope? Tell about some
 +struggle to change something—a struggle that you personally were
 +involved in—that worked. What did you learn from that?  4. When the
 +Israelites approached the Sea of Reeds, the waters did not split. It
 +took a few brave souls to jump into the water. Even then, the waters
 +rose up to their very noses, and only then, when these brave souls
 +showed that they really believed in the Force of Healing and
 +Transformation (YHVH), did the waters split and the Israelites walk
 +through them. Would you be willing to jump into those waters today—for
 +example by becoming an advocate for nonviolence or for the strategy of
 +generosity and the Global Marshall Plan? Would you go to speak about
 +this to your elected representatives?​ To your neighbors? To your
 +coworkers? To your family? ​ MAGEED (TELL THE STORY):
 +Tell the story of the Exodus, and identify the Pharaohs in your life
 +Blessing over the second cup of wine.
 +We are descended from slaves who staged the first successful slave
 +rebellion in recorded history. Ever since, our people has kept alive
 +the story of liberation, and the consciousness that cruelty and
 +oppression are not inevitable “facts of life,” but conditions that can
 +be changed. Because God makes possible the tikkun (healing and
 +transformation) of the world, reality is enough. Dayenu—it is enough.
 +PESACH (the Bone or for vegetarians,​ the Pascal Beet): Our Seder plate
 +includes a symbol of the ancient Passover sacrifice, which was brought
 +each year to the Temple in Jerusalem. The Hebrew word for sacrifice is
 +korban, which comes from the root meaning “near” or “close.” What
 +could bring you closer to your highest spiritual self?
 +MATZAH: The Torah tells us that the Israelites had to take the
 +uncooked dough with them, “For they had prepared no provisions for the
 +way.” Symbolically,​ the matzah reminds us that when the opportunity
 +for liberation comes, we must seize it, even if we do not feel fully
 +prepared-indeed,​ if we wait until we feel prepared, we may never act
 +at all.  If you had to jump into such a struggle tomorrow morning,
 +what would you have to leave behind? The current global economic
 +meltdown may be precisely such a moment. Are you ready to leave the
 +slavery of our current economic system?
 +The matzah also stands in contrast to chametz (Hebrew for the
 +expansive yeast that makes bread rise), which symbolizes false pride,
 +absorption in our individual egos, and grandiosity.
 +MARROR (the Bitter Herbs): The suffering of the Jews in Egypt has been
 +matched by thousands of years in which we were oppressed as a
 +people. Our insistence on telling the story of liberation and
 +proclaiming that the world could be and should be fundamentally
 +different has angered ruling elites. These elites often tried to
 +channel against the Jews the anger that ordinary people were feeling
 +about the oppression in their own lives. But Jews are not the only
 +ones to have suffered oppression and violence. We think of the
 +genocide against native peoples all around the world, including in the
 +United States. We think of the enslavement of Africans, and the
 +oppression of Armenians, homosexuals,​ women, immigrants and many
 +others. Yet, tonight it is appropriate for us to focus also on the
 +suffering of the Jewish people, and to affirm our solidarity with
 +victims of anti-Semitism through the ages. Anti-Semitism still
 +persists in our own time in the use of double standards in the
 +judgment of Jews, in acts of violence against Jews, and in refusing to
 +acknowledge the history of Jewish suffering as equal to the suffering
 +of other victims of oppressive social regimes in Christian, Muslim,
 +and some secular societies, as well. Meanwhile, we Jews need to
 +acknowledge the ways that such suffering has at times distorted our
 +consciousness and made it hard to fully grasp the pain others feel. We
 +must evolve A GLOBAL JUDAISM that compassionately embraces the Jewish
 +people and all other peoples.
 +The Haggadah says, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.”
 +Traditionally,​ this is understood to mean not only literally feeding
 +the hungry, but also offering spiritual sustenance to those in
 +need. Both must go hand in hand. We live in a society of unprecedented
 +wealth, yet we turn our backs on the hungry. Even the supposedly
 +liberal and progressive political leaders are unwilling to champion
 +any program to seriously address world hunger and homelessness.
 +There is also a deep spiritual hunger that must be fed. Though the
 +cynical proclaim that “those who accumulate the most toys win,” our
 +tradition teaches that money, power, and fame cannot sustain us. Our
 +spiritual tradition teaches us to be present to each moment; to
 +rejoice in all that we are and all that we have been given; to
 +experience the world with awe, wonder, and radical amazement; and to
 +recognize that we already have enough and are enough.
 +Not just during the Seder, but also at every meal, it is incumbent
 +upon us—the Jewish tradition teaches—to talk words of Torah, to study
 +some section of our holy books, or to in other ways make God feel
 +present at our table. Try this every night as you eat: bring God and
 +God’s message of love, generosity, peace, social justice, ecological
 +sanity, and caring for others into every meal that you eat.
 +Enjoy the meal. Following the meal, say a blessing expressing thanks
 +to God for the food and by expressing a commitment to do what you can
 +to redistribute food on this planet so that everyone will have
 +enough. Drink the third cup of wine.
 +We open the door for Elijah—the prophet who heralds the coming of the
 +Messiah and a world in which all peoples will coexist
 +peacefully—acknowledging the Image of God in one another. To deny the
 +possibility of fundamental transformation,​ to be stuck in the pain of
 +past oppression, or to build our religion around memories of the
 +Holocaust and other forms of suffering is to give the ultimate victory
 +to those who oppressed us. To testify to God’s presence in the world
 +is to insist on shifting our focus from pain to hope, and to dedicate
 +our energies to transforming this world and ourselves. (All together
 +recite): We still believe in a world based on love, generosity, and
 +openheartedness. ​ We continue to affirm the Unity of All Being.
 +Now let us build together a communal vision of what messianic
 +redemption would look like.
 +Close your eyes and let some picture of this appear in your
 +minds. Then, open your eyes and share with others
 +your picture of the world we want to build together.
 +Blessing over the fourth cup of wine.
 +Sing songs of liberation!
 +Want to be part of a Judaism that shares the values articulated in
 +this Haggadah supplement? You can:
 +1. JOIN Beyt Tikkun Synagogue. Come to our annual retreat and/or High
 +Holiday services. There may even be a few remaining seats at our (2nd
 +night) Passover Seder April 9 at the Noe Valley Ministry in S.F. if
 +you join as members. Details at www.BeytTikkun.org. 415-575-1432
 +2. Come to our course, GLOBAL JUDAISM: A re-introduction to a Judaism
 +of Love and Generosity. ​ Taught by Rabbi Michael Lerner. Fri. evening
 +May 1 to Sun. afternoon May 3. Details at www.beyttikkun.org
 +3. Subscribe to Tikkun Magazine at www.tikkun.org If you are not
 +Jewish but wish to bring these values into your Christian, Muslim,
 +Buddhist, or other spiritual communities,​ or if you are a (spiritual
 +but not religious) atheist please join our interfaith Network of
 +Spiritual Progressives at www.spiritualprogressives.org
 +q YES! I’ll help you spread this message. I’ll send a tax deductible
 +donation of
 +q $1,000 q $500 q $300 q $180 q $120 q $80 q $50 q $25 q
 +or I’ll enclose my credit card info and you can bill it for
 +$____________one time; or $____________each
 +month for one year. Or, I’ll call your office at 510-644-1200 to
 +donate that way.
 +Tikkun & Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
 +2342 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704 510-644-1200 Shul@tikkun.org
 +1021 Sanchez, San Francisco, CA 94114 415-575-1432