23April

Reflections on the Shalom Bayit Seder

Reflections on the Shalom Bayit Seder


On April 8, 2015, we held our 11th annual Shalom Bayit Women’s Passover Seder. Twenty-two women gathered for a lovely Seder meal, guided by the   Journey Toward Freedom:  a Haggadah for Survivors of Domestic Violence.”  This year, once again, I was moved by the powerful women gathering to retell the story of Jews’ exodus from Egyptian slavery, while reflecting on their own struggles for liberation from daily intimidation, fear, violence and abuse in those places which should be the most peaceful and loving…their homes and intimate relationships.

Sharing the Seder meal and reflecting on personal journeys toward freedom, women joined in solidarity and strength, as our interfaith Seder focused on obtaining freedom from lives of personal enslavement. Each year, as women bond with each other and reflect on the ways in which Shalom Bayit has strengthened them, and provided a space of safety, I am touched and reminded of the power of presence, listening, solidarity and advocacy.

I reflect on our Shalom Bayit Passover prayer“This night when we celebrate the miracle of liberation, it is incumbent upon us to grasp the meaning of this enslavement, to hear their cries, and to aid their struggle for liberation.  We each have a role to play in working toward freedom from abuse. “

I join my friend and Shalom Bayit volunteer advocate, Patty Maziar, in musing: “Are we not following in the footsteps of Moses as he advocated for freedom from Egyptian slavery as we advocate today for freedom from abuse and injustice?” And as we nurture the healing of survivors, are we not following in the footsteps of Miriam, who galvanized the women of the desert to share in her joyous song of freedom?

Written by Wendy Lipshutz, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Wendy Lipshutz

Wendy Lipshutz

Wendy Lipshutz has directed the Shalom Bayit (Peace in the Home) Program at JF&CS since 1993. Through this non-sectarian domestic violence program, Wendy provides individual counseling, advocacy and support groups for abused women and conducts educational programs about abuse within the Jewish community.