People of various faiths and nationalities attend an interfaith Passover celebration in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The Michigan area director of the American Jewish Committee, held the function in an effort to reach out to non-Jewish people, and invited guests who were Muslim, Polish, Hindu, Chaldean, African American, and Nigerian.

At Monday night’s Passover Seder we used hard-covered, bound copies of a Haggadah with a copyright date of 1923. The first user of the book — a relative or friend of our host family — had carefully inscribed his name on the inside cover.

In the many years since my conversion from Roman Catholicism to Judaism, I’ve used a variety of Haggadot but none like the one we used last night.

Some of them were faded blue, mimeographed copies, dog-eared and stained with wine and brisket gravy. Others were stapled and patched together with cracking glue and brittle cellophane that incorporated feminist interpretations. A few years ago, we enjoyed the company of a blind guest at our Seder. She used a Braille Haggadah in Hebrew. When it was her turn to read, she simultaneously translated the text into English. Amazing.

Reading from an almost 90 year-old Haggadah, with the name of the octogenarian sitting next to me written in childlike cursive on the inside cover, was an extraordinary experience. It struck me that he had been Jewish 60 years longer than I had been. It filled me with a deep longing for the Passovers and memories I’d missed. At the same time, I felt tremendous gratitude for the spiritual home I’d finally found.

Celebration of Passover is a biblical command for all Jews worldwide to come together as a community to singularly and collectively remember: What the Eternal One did for me when I came out from Egypt. At Passover, I am — along with the ancient Israelites enslaved in Egypt. I am with them redeemed from bondage, and I am promised the care and love the Eternal One blessed be He.

Growing up in a large observant Roman Catholic family, I often felt spiritually displaced. Praying and having a relationship with G-d was always important to me, but I struggled with how to do it within the structure of my birth-religion. The idea of Christ and His divinity got in the way of the personal relationship I wanted to have with G-d.

Holy Week was the only time I felt intimacy and safety with Christ. And then it was as a supremely saintly man who modeled how we are to have a relationship with G-d. Holy Week was the only time Christ became real. From His ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the Passover dinner with His disciples, the Stations, and His death on the Cross on Good Friday, I felt comfortable with Christ.

Now that I have found my spiritual home in Judaism, I no longer struggle with Christ. I understand Christ and His teachings from a Jewish perspective. I see Him as a wise and holy Rabbi falsely accused and killed by the Romans like another of our other Jewish saints, Rabbi Akiva.

I am grateful to have found Judaism and the community to which I can belong. I am no longer in Diaspora… I am home.

Mary MoosMary Moos is a marketing consultant who runs her own company, Gordian Marketing, and is the sister of our executive producer.

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Although still a practicing Roman Catholic I am completely in tune with what Mary is saying. I began reading Heschel not long after hearing the piece on him here at SOF, and I feel so comfortable wit his writing and view of the world. It is in this time of year that remembering really strikes a chord. Thank you for your insight.

As a student in the four-year Denver Catholic Biblical School, I absolutely agree with you that it is imperative for Christians to understand the history of the Jewish people and their role as the people chosen by the LORD. It is an incredible story -- a miraculous gift -- a breathtakingly beautiful story -- one I feel so blessed to be learning as the basis for all of salvation history. I am deeply saddened that so many Catholics are not taught it, or choose not to learn it -- or do not have access to incredible programs like the Denver Catholic Biblical School. I, too, am learning to see and understand Christ from a Jewish perspective -- and to understand all the ways that he fulfils God's eternal promise to David and his promise to Abraham that he would provide the Lamb. What a wonderful world, what an awesome God -- may we all live by his commandments, so that all goes well with the world.

Dear Mary - You might enjoy Albert Nolan's, "Jesus Before Christianity." In it, he explores looking to Jesus to understand God, not God to understand Jesus. It is a celebration of the human Jesus.

Yo, Mary . . .
Me too.

Lynn in Fargo