When I arrived that morning at his home in Boulder, CO, the rabbi's wife, Eve, was in the kitchen, preparing for Passover by removing 'hametz' -- anything containing flour that's risen -- from every drawer, shelf and counter.
We open the door for Elijah, the harbinger of the messianic era of peace, and we pray that he will enter our homes and our hearts and our world. We want to open ourselves to the world, to be part of it, and not to live in ghettoes any more, whether self-imposed or imposed by others.
During the Passover Seder many have the tradition to rise from the table and open the door for the Prophet Elijah to come. This year's celebration brings with it an extra reminder of how much we should not take for granted the blessing of being able to open our door in hope and not fear.
Liu Xiaobo was unable to be in Oslo to collect his Nobel Peace Prize. He is just one year into an 11-year jail sentence for subversion because he penned an open letter calling for democratic reforms in China.
Today's Jews largely emulate the national values of Ahab. They are first concerned with the military power of Israel and are obsessed with its enemies, whereas the Hebrew Prophets criticized the powerful and mighty in Israel.