I wrote a few days ago about Passover and how it’s an important story about freedom and one that I wanted to share with my children (more here).
Though I’m not Jewish, the “feast of freedom” and its recounting of sacrifice and emancipation is a story that my family, in a smaller way, experienced. In particular, I wanted to let my children know that freedom is not free and past family members paid a high price.
So, I made a special brisket recipe, and we talked over the meal.
I later received the following email, from a non-Jewish friend. After reading my blog post, he too decided to cook a special meal and share stories from the past. I found his story very moving, and so, I want to share it:
Chag Sameach! Decided to start our own Passover tradition…. Over dinner, I shared with the girls my story of how my parents and their families fled China to Taiwan, losing everything in the process. And then how my parents sacrificed everything to bring May and me to America, to afford us the opportunities that this GREAT country offers. I told them about how we were effectively poor (sleeping on sheets on flooring, because we didn’t even have mattresses, much less a bed); how I was thrust into school despite not speaking nor reading a single word of English; how learning was held important above all else; how my parent’s first thought was always the future of their children.
I want my daughters to understand, in a similar way to how Jews want their children to understand, the importance of tradition, of family, of escaping and traveling to new lands for freedom, for opportunity, and for the future of their children. Fighting back the tears, I managed to get it all out. And I hope that this will be a tradition we repeat every year on Passover. To my mom and (late) dad — thank you.
I hope that you too are celebrating freedom and remembering family members from the past who gave you freedom.