As a friend of Craig Taubman, the nationally-known Jewish recording artist and multimedia producer, I am posting a guest writer and her feelings about Craig's recent production of an Interfaith Passover greeting card message.
After watching Craig N' Co and American Greeting's Multi-faith Passover greeting card I was initially confused. I thought; what does a Christian or a Muslim know about the story, and the enslavement of my people, the Jewish people?
The greeting card, which features beautiful and inspirational messages about Passover from Conservative Rabbi's David Wolpe, Nicole Guzik, and Reform Rabbi Deborah Schuldenfrei, and from outside the Jewish community, Imam Jihad Turk, Reverend Liz Munoz, and Pastors Cecil Murray and Mark Whitlock, was immediately met with a backlash of comments from non-Jews and Jews alike explaining they were more than insulted by the video message, and felt it was laughable that a non-Jew could bring any new meaning to Passover.
As a senior, just about to graduate from a private Jewish school, I have studied every little detail from halacha, Jewish laws, about what kind of food one can eat, to rabbinic commentaries about how Moses got his lisp. Before watching the greeting card I did not think about the beautiful message of freedom and brotherhood, which I have been taught every year, that is so intertwined in the Passover story, but rather about how boring temple would be, and how much I would crave bread.
Upon hearing the words of the people in the greeting card, I was reminded of how much more there is to the Passover story, and how important it is to think about how lucky we are not to be enslaved. At no point did anyone touch base on the tedious laws involved in the holiday, or explain how one should celebrate the holiday. I even closed my eyes at one point, listening to the speaker's words, and could not decipher whether or not a Jew or a non-Jew was speaking. After seventeen years in Jewish school, I believe there is one great message that those who were offended by this video should learn, and one that only reiterates the Passover narrative of the Jewish people's transition from slavery to freedom. Judaism teaches us that no one person is better than another, and that no one's opinion is more important than another's. In the Passover story we learn the same thing; no one may enslave another person, for everyone for everyone was created in the image of God, and every person is equal.
I ask (HOPE) viewers of this greeting card to bring this message to life, and do something a little differently. I ask you not to judge those featured in the video based off the clothes they wear, or the place they were interviewed in. I ask you not to take one person's opinion more seriously than the next, simply because one wears a kippah, and the other does not. I ask you to close your eyes and listen to the wonderful, positive messages of this greeting card, and to free yourself, like our ancestors in Egypt, from being enslaved by prejudice and by preconceived notions. Only then can one celebrate and honor the true meaning of Passover.
The message can be found at: http://www.americangreetings.com/ecards/display.pd?path=0&prodnum=3182143&Ne=374980&N=374251+374226&source=agurj
Written by Alexandra Shadrow