Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not Enough...

I love our annual Passover seder at my dad's house. There were 21 of us there last night, ranging in age from 15 months to the late seventies. We asked the questions, told the story, ate the ceremonial foods, and sang the songs -- like families across the world.

The Passover story surprises me each year with its sharp messages for today. The slavery and the terror of the Exodus story must make us think today about Iraq, Darfur, the Middle East -- and all the ways that injustice and hatred still prevail.

The song "Dayenu" recounts the story and at the end of each event, we sing "Dayenu" it would have been enough. The Haggadah tells us that if we had only been brought out of Egypt, it would have been enough. If we had only passed through the Red Sea, it would have been enough. If we had gotten to Sinai but not gotten the Torah, it would have been enough. And so on. It is, I guess, intended to make us thankful for each step of God's grace.

But, I find myself rebelling against its message. I thought a lot about the struggles of women and gay and lesbian and transgender people for liberation during the seder last night, and incremental steps towards justice are not enough. Health insurance for poor children is a step -- but it is not enough. Civil unions for same sex couples is a step -- but it is not enough. Limited lines for stem cell research -- not enough. Sex education that doesn't include information for sexually active teens, not enough. Civil rights laws without an end to racism, sexism, heterosexism...not enough.

We need to recommit ourselves to FULL inclusion, to liberty and justice for ALL. Only that will be enough.

Happy Passover and Holy Week.

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