As we gather virtually this Passover (for those who celebrate it), it is important to focus not only on the story of the Israelites escaping slavery, but also to reflect on how the story of Passover is relevant today. After a year cursed by our own COVID-19 plague, we have witnessed essential workers brave the pandemic head on and have seen healthcare workers risk their lives to save those around them.
The beginning of the Passover story tells us that Pharaoh begins to lose control of the ever-growing, enslaved Jewish population. In an attempt to remain in power, he demands two seemingly weak midwives, Shifra and Puah, to kill the sons in each Jewish family.
The story tells us that Shifra and Puah go against Pharaoh’s demands and decide to let the Jewish boys live. The strength displayed by these women ultimately paved the way for the Israelites to gain power and eventually to leave Egypt and escape from slavery. Although it may have appeared that those women had little power to change the conditions of the Jewish people, their contributions set a foundation of resistance, survival, and rebirth for the people of Israel.
This Passover, it is imperative that we recognize and celebrate all people who show strength and courage in the face of danger and take risks to provide the greatest good.
Just as Shifra and Puah stood up to Pharaoh to protect the Israelites, so did the courageous frontline workers who risk their lives for others’ well-being.
So, as you sit and recall the four questions and sit back in your chair, I urge you to think about those who may be overlooked.