Tag Archives: passover

Ed Davey’s message for Passover – Chag Sameach!

Here is Ed Davey’s message for Passover, published last night. Our best wishes to all celebrating today.

At sundown tonight, Jewish communities in the UK and around the world will mark the beginning of Passover, the eight-day festival commemorating the liberation of the Israelites after 400 years of slavery in ancient Egypt.

The story of the Exodus has inspired generations; it’s a story of hope and triumph. It shows us what’s possible when we hold tight to faith in the midst of darkness and uncertainty. This is a message that’s relevant, even today.

Usually, Passover is a large celebratory affair, marked by generations of families gathering around the Seder table to share a festive meal. However, this year celebrations will be smaller. Many will look around the table and think of loved ones who cannot be there and some traditions may even be modified in an attempt to adapt to these unprecedented times.

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Chag Pesach Sameach

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My daughter was really upset last night when she looked at her calendar. “How can we celebrate Ramadan without our family?” She like many children from different faith groups are having this conversation, Easter eggs hunts have been cancelled, Sri Lankan and Tamil New year celebrations halted and this week Passover begins for the Jewish communities across the country but this year will be like no other.

In these difficult and concerning times for our nation, it seems out of place to talk or write about anything other than the pandemic gripping our country, but I think it’s important that we continue to find moments of hope and joy, and it is in this vein I would like to wish everyone “Chag Pesach Sameach”.

It has been a challenging few years for the Jewish community, with anti-Semitism on the resurgence in our society, including at the highest echelons of power. As a Muslim, I can strongly empathise with being made to feel like you don’t belong. As we commemorate the Jewish exodus from Egypt, we must ensure that our society never resembles the one established by the Pharoahs, where the Jewish minority was exploited and discriminated against.

This isn’t the easiest time to be commemorating a religious festival. Our nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, and our attentions will be focused on supporting the most vulnerable around us. As a Muslim, I will be in the same boat as the holy month of Ramadan begins in a couple of weeks, and I have myself been thinking about how I will be spending the month, in the absence of communal rituals. These festivals are usually meant to be times for families and communities to come together and share in what is most important. To lose this, at this most challenging of times, will not be easy. We must not underestimate the impact that this loss will have on already isolated individuals, some of whom may be vulnerable to mental health issues.

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Lib Dems mark Passover and Easter

This weekend sees two important religious festivals. On Friday, jewish communities marked Passover, which marks the Israelites’ freedom from slavery and bondage and today Christians celebrate one of the most important days of the year for them, Easter Sunday.

On the Lib Dem website, Lib Dem Peer Monroe Palmer writes about the significance of Passover:

Across the world, Jewish families will sit around the Seder table to share food and recount the tale of how Moses led the Jewish people to their emancipation and deliverance. In retelling the story of the Exodus, we are reminded that the forces of oppression, hate and tyranny are not insurmountable. The traditions we observe are symbolic reminders of both the hardships endured by the Israelites as well as the triumph of faith.

let us all come together to choose unity over division, understanding over intolerance and faith over fear.

Across the world, we are witnessing worrying increases in acts of terror and hate targeted at religious communities. It’s hard to believe that even in 2019 anti-Semitism is still prevalent and growing- even in the UK. However, even in the face of intensifying anti-Semitic sentiment, Jewish communities continue to persevere in challenging bigotry and prejudice. In this growing anti-Semitic climate, festivals such as Passover are timely reminders of the strength of community and power of resistance.

The UK has long been a home for people of all backgrounds, and we are a shining example that different faiths, identities and ethnicities can thrive and co-exist. The history of Jewish people in the UK goes back centuries and British Jewish communities are undoubtedly an integral part of our society. At moments like this, we ought to take the opportunity to recognise the tremendous and invaluable contributions of these communities to our great country.

And Lizzie Jewkes, whose idea to raise the tax threshold was one of the flagship policies during the coalition years, writes about what Easter means to her.

As a Christian, I find a great deal of overlap between my faith and Liberal Democracy. In both, we are encouraged to think of others, to value everyone equally and to work for the greater good of all. Likewise, in both, people are seen as individuals. Jesus came in for a great deal of criticism during his lifetime from those who objected to the way he challenged vested interests, societal norms, privilege and injustice where ever he found them. He treated everyone as equals – women, foreigners, Roman soldiers, the disabled, divorcees, those who collaborated with the occupying forces and children, despite the mores of the age. Following his resurrection, he appeared first to women and told them to tell the men, even though the testimony of women was not considered reliable in Roman society.

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A message from Nick Clegg for Passover

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