The blessing over bread, the Seder’s next step, claims that God “takes bread out of the earth.” Strange. Bread doesn’t come from the ground, and humans are the ones who do the “taking,” really an intricate process involving harvesting, milling, mixing, kneading, and baking. The blessing simplifies the system and gives God the credit, just as the Haggadah removes Moses from the Exodus story. Bread, like liberation, doesn’t get done solely by our own power. A vast, complex, and diverse network of creation, past and present, contributes. We have a role to play, we have agency. But we are not islands in creation, and we have limited power and control over outcomes. Liberation, too, requires recognizing our limitations, our reliance on other agencies, our relationship with all that is, and God’s presence in every little step.
Read Rabbi Knopf’s Recent Posts
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