Dear Members of the Fordham Community,

Tonight, many of us celebrate Passover and remember the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery. At countless Seders around the world, families and friends will gather to read the Haggadah, pray, reflect, laugh, and eat together. (I will be missing my usual Seders in New Orleans very much, so if anyone wants to invite me next year … ) We celebrate endurance and survival, particularly during this time of modern plagues. We flatten our own egos, like unleavened bread, so that we can be free.

Tomorrow night, many of us celebrate Holy Thursday, also a Passover meal. Jesus shared unleavened bread and wine with his disciples as the gifts of His own body and blood, and asked that we forever “do this in memory of me.” And so, for almost two thousand years, we have remembered that God became one of us, suffered with us, and died for us. True to our Jewish roots, Christians believe that suffering is not wasted. We know that true character is forged in the fires of pain.

It all culminates in hope—the Easter spring bursting forth from winter’s death. On Sunday, we will say Alleluia, He is Risen! We will rejoice that life and love triumph over death and sin.

During this holiest of weeks, I hope that we find quiet moments to breathe, and noisy moments to gather with family and friends. I hope that we celebrate the resilience we have earned by overcoming so much. And I hope that we revel in gratitude for the gifts God has given us. Dayenu! Thanks be to God!

All my best,

Tania Tetlow