Along the way during the seder, as we’re telling our story, we make mention of being chosen. “In the beginning our ancestors served idols,” but then God brought us close in order to do things differently. From the outset, this was our promised destiny. Even before learning that one day his descendants will be enslaved, Avram is told, “You shall know that your seed will be strangers in a land not theirs.” We will stand apart even when among other nations.
But if we were meant to be alone, unique and separate, why be planted in the midst of others?
One possible answer to this question comes from Stan Lebovic, a graphic artist whose work you may recognize from his recent book Black is a Color. In his latest project, a haggadah called Escape Velocity, Lebovic tells the story of the Exodus in words and with powerful images. He gives new meaning to the idea that it is the task of the Jew to turn her back to the world while remaining invested in the future of humanity.
On Shabbat morning, we’ll look at some of Lebovic’s pictures and discuss what it means to be chosen.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and Moadim Lesimhah,
Rabbi David Wise