Sh’monim mi yodea – who knows eighty? ‘Eighty’ is the years since six synagogues came together to create what would become the Movement for Reform Judaism. Pesach is perhaps the ultimate festival of Reform Judaism, crystallising in a moment what we do all year round: remembering our history and valuing our tradition, while also embracing innovation and including everyone who wants a place at the table.
On Seder night, as Pesach begins, we’ll tell again the story of how we got here, a story with both sad and glorious chapters. As the work of leaving slavery is not complete and some plagues tragically continue, we open our doors not just to Elijah but to all those fleeing the plagues of war and violence; we invite all who are hungry to come and eat in our homes and in our synagogues; we pour out love on those who will work with us to create a secure and peaceful future.
This Seder night will be different from all other nights, because for the first Pesach in three years, we have the freedom to gather again in our homes and in our synagogues; we will be close enough even to spill wine on someone else’s tablecloth!
Every one of us knows eighty: may all that we have shared and built through The Movement for Reform Judaism over its first eight decades strengthen us, so that we can make a brighter future for all our Jewish lives over the next eighty years.