Passover an opportunity to reflect on priorities

by Talia Raoufpur, Staff Columnist

Passover recently began, and with it came inspiration for a change of mindset. The Jewish holiday, which celebrates the freeing of the enslaved Jews in Egypt, began Tuesday, April 11. The most well-known commemoration of the holiday involves the Jews not consuming any foods containing yeast and eating matzo —— an unleavened bread, like a cracker. It signifies the unleavened bread their ancestors carried out of Egypt during the Exodus.

Passover isn’t merely a dietary change, but rather a holiday that promotes connection and unity. It is a holiday people of all religious backgrounds can connect with — especially in these disconnected times.

Moses, the valiant leader who challenged the Pharaoh to let his (Jewish) people go, can serve as a role model for all. He is an individual who stood up to his oppressor, and for the good of society, decided to make a change to save himself and those around him. To do this does not require an act of God, but an act of compassion.

In a time when the world appears to be plagued by anti-Semitism on college campuses, police brutality, political oppression and violence, anyone can become their own version of Moses — by devoting time, advocating for the good of people, spreading warmth and assisting those who need it the most. The level of divisiveness in politics and society feeds only egos, not souls.

It takes more than a series of protests to perpetuate change. Uniting for the common good, regardless of differences in race, color, religion, socioeconomic status or educational level should be humanity’s goal.

Maybe what is required is a spiritual boost, to inspire and guide people to volunteer at a food bank or tutor underprivileged children. Too many care too much about social media than they do society and service to those in need.

When an injustice happens to a person or group, people should go out and lend a hand. Without unity the cycle will continue.

The story of Passover allows us to recognize flaws in society and the progress that still needs to be made. Everyone should aspire to be as courageous as Moses, to strive to aid others on a global scale. When witnessing any form of cruelty, one should ask themselves the question, “What would Moses do?”