Colors: Cyan Color

As we approach Yom HaShoah, I want to write not about the Holocaust, but about memory.

What is memory? How do we preserve memory? How can we, who learned of the Holocaust from the people who lived through it, make the memory important for our children and grandchildren for generations to come?

As Pesach approaches, the story of the Exodus from Egypt will be told and retold many times.  The rich history of Moshe coming back to his people and, as G-d’s emissary, freeing them from bondage.  The Jews cried out for a savior for centuries before Moshe arrived, and when he did, they were freed.

The Seder is, in many ways, a study in contradictions. We recline like aristocrats while eating the bread of the poor. We are required to see ourselves as actually having participated in the Exodus from slavery to freedom, while proclaiming “This year we are slaves.” The importance of the Seder is not just as a means for remembering an historical event that is the very bedrock of our existence as a people; it is an affirmation that the Exodus from Egypt is an ongoing process. It is something we live every day as a nation and as individuals.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is set to be confirmed this week; after squish Republicans like Maine’s Susan Collins gave her the thumbs up, it is all but a certainty. While her confirmation hearings contained many blockbuster moments, the most lasting for our society was a simple question from Senator Marsha Blackburn: “What is a woman?”