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The recent shooting in Atlanta, Colorado, and smaller shooting incidents across American spurred me to write another essay on Passover.

During the reading of the Haggadah, the text recited the first two nights of Passover, which includes a narrative of the Israelites exodus from Egypt, you spill a drip of wine when each of the ten plagues are named.

Blood, frogs, lice… cattle disease… the list continues. The plagues were cast on Egypt to convince the Egyptian pharaoh to release the Israelites. It’s hard to imagine they ever occurred, and it wasn’t until pharaoh’s first son died that the Israelites were released from their bondage. 

In modern context, the plagues were impediments to incite change.

The issues we face today aren’t necessarily plagues but are just as devastating. And voices we hear are similar to “let my people go.” It’s the voices of champions who call for change, motivating people to join their cause, make a difference, and stand up to wrong and tyranny:

It’s Georgia House of Representative Stacey Abrams standing up for the rights of voters and fighting voter suppressions.

It’s Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg and Arizona House of Representative Gabrielle Giffords demanding gun control and background checks.

It’s environmental activist Greta Thunberg tirelessly challenging world leaders to take action against climate change.

It’s Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman empowering women with pink pussy hats and the realization they can make a difference through political activism.

It’s Opal Tometi organizing Black Lives Matters and demanding an end to racism and police brutality.

It’s decades of defending women’s rights and breaking through glass ceilings by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It’s U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders continuing to advocate for Medicare for all and healthcare as a human right.

It’s US Senator Elizabeth Warren and economist Robert Reich rallying for pay equity and worker rights in concert with exposing financial and corporate corruption.

It’s municipal and community organizations across the country coming to the aid of people in need of food, housing, and medical care as food insecurities and homelessness grows.

It’s millions of Americans donning masks and rushing to get vaccinated against an epidemic that like the tenth plague, brings death.

As Passover approaches, whatever your religion, consider how you too can bring about change through social and political action, and as Randy [Karr} wrote, “Be the change you want to see.”