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Freedom Seder in Harrisburg

This is really one of the things I actually enjoy about our city.  I mean, I know Harrisburg has crime and other such problems, but it seems like it also really tries to be all-inclusive vis-à-vis the different religions its citizens practice.  For example, I just learned about a pre-Passover “freedom seder” that is being organized by Penn State Harrisburg which aims to “celebrate the shared commitment of blacks and Jews to freedom from slavery and oppression.” 

I know that Passover is really celebrated by the Jewish people, but I think this freedom seder is a great way to increase tolerance and understanding of different religions.  While the actual festival for the Jews is a retelling of the story of how the Jews escaped slavery from Egypt, it seems all of us somehow have our own type of slavery that we must try and escape from.  No matter what it is – from alcoholism, to other addictive behavior – everyone should really be on a journey from slavery to freedom.

So I read a bit more about it and learned that the first one that was organized took place in 1969, marking the Jews’ festival as well as the first anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death.  This occurred in Washington DC.

The Harrisburg Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial


So I just heard from an ex-colleague that a couple of days ago it was the 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  In commemoration of this event, there was a breakfast with a full program at the Harris-Pruett Building.  I wasn’t able to participate but Derek – my ex-colleague who is currently out of work – went and he said it was really good.


This year’s theme was “With Faith We Are Going to Make It,” which Derek said was incredibly inspirational.  I guess the fact that they provided a yummy fry-up breakfast wasn’t too bad either.  Although, truthfully, I thought the city was meant to be focusing on healthy eating and exercise in its “Race to the Moon” program that I mentioned last week.  So when I heard what he ate – bacon, sausages, eggs, biscuits and gravy with some fruit (which seemed to me like a bit of a token gesture rather than anything else) – I was a bit perturbed.


Still, I’m glad the event was so successful and that Derek was inspired. But, while he might have left with food-for-thought he probably also exited the event with a few more clogged arteries!  Come on Harrisburg, let’s get back on target with healthy eating and good workouts.