At the beginning of the Seder, we say, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” For most of us, this is a purely symbolic act. After all, the table’s already set, the food already prepared, the guests already invited. It’s a safe bet that even if a hungry stranger wandered by at exactly that moment, s/he would be turned away. As Jeffrey Goldberg points out, in this way, Passover eve is exactly like all other nights: we eat our fill without much regard for the poor and hungry. The difference is that on Passover, we are confronted with our hypocrisy, forced to open our eyes to our everyday failure to share what we have with those in need, in the hopes that by next Passover, the invitation for the hungry will be utterly unnecessary.
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