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Steve Leder is the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. 


During Passover, our festival of freedom, we celebrate two kinds of freedom: Freedom from, and freedom to. 

We remind ourselves that freedom from slavery is an imperative to use that freedom to liberate others who remain oppressed.

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Rabbi Steve Leder.

CBS News


God granted us free will. Human suffering is therefore a human problem, not a God problem. We cannot only pray for freedom and peace; we have to work for them.

There are more slaves in the world now than any other time in history. Their anguish is in the clothes we wear, our coffee, our phones, and in many, even sadder ways. There are billions more people shackled by poverty, addiction, depression, anxiety, abuse, loneliness, and of course, this cruel and senseless war in Ukraine.

The religious question, the spiritual question, the Easter and Passover question is: what shall we, who are among the freest and most fortunate humans who ever lived, do with our freedom and good fortune? 

Let’s not congratulate ourselves, until we use them to liberate our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and everywhere from the Pharaohs of today. 

     
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Story produced by Julie Kracov and Amy Wall. Editor: Chad Cardin.

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