The week-long celebration of Passover recalls the time God freed the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses – an event known as the Exodus and believed to have taken place around 1300 BC. It is one of the three great feasts of Judaism.
The word “Passover” is usually thought to refer to the Angel of Death’s “passing over” the houses whose doorposts were marked with sheep’s blood – and thereby sparing the life of the first-born male.
In the celebration of Passover, as with many holidays, we see the coming together of faith and family, which helps to build a more close-knit community and reminds us of the blessings we perhaps take for granted, many of which have been won through the work and sacrifice of those who’ve gone before us.
So it is with our union family. Union activists are sometimes heard to say, “Keep the faith.” That faith is built on the sweat and blood, hardships and victories of the trailblazers of the labour movement. It’s a faith in the ability of ordinary people to do extraordinary things when they join together in a common effort.
Like Passover, we have annual events, particularly our upcoming Convention, when we recall and celebrate the past, take account of the present, and look with optimism to the future – no matter how bleak the future can sometimes look. Because we know that as long as we have each other, and as long as we keep the faith, we can, and will, overcome all the obstacles that would prevent us from achieving justice for workers and equity for every member of our society.
To all those celebrating Passover, we wish joy and blessings during this week and throughout the coming year.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida