Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1858915
 
 

Footnotes (182)



 


 



Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are Free: Legal, Administrative, and Social Issues Raised by Passover Celebrations in Prison


Aviva Orenstein


Indiana University Maurer School of Law

2013

Pepperdine Law Review, Forthcoming
Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 195

Abstract:     
“Once we were slaves, now we are free” is a central line from the Jewish Passover Seder, a ritual meal in which participants retell the story of liberation from Pharaoh’s oppression. In prison, many Jewish inmates request access to a Seder and to kosher-for-Passover food for the eight-day holiday. Prisoners’ requests to celebrate Passover provide a rich example for exploring the Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act (RLUIPA), and raise a host of tough questions regarding cost, safety, equal treatment of prisoners, and establishment of religion. Because kosher-for-Passover meals are more expensive and generally of higher quality than regular prison fare, the prison must decide who is genuinely eligible, and who is merely seeking better food. In deciding which prisoners are sincere, administrators tend to adopt rigid standards for what constitutes appropriate religious observance and sometimes fail to credit prisoners’ individual beliefs. Beyond the formal legal issues of prisoners’ rights and administrative protocol lies the deeply personal and symbolic meaning that the Passover Seder has for those who are incarcerated. The irony of their situation – celebrating a ritual of freedom inside prison – is not lost on inmates who seek spiritual freedom even – and especially – in prison.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 65

Keywords: Passover, Prison, Religion, Jewish, Prisoner’s Rights, Free Expression, RLUIPA, Seder, Kosher

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: June 8, 2011 ; Last revised: August 28, 2013

Suggested Citation

Orenstein, Aviva, Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are Free: Legal, Administrative, and Social Issues Raised by Passover Celebrations in Prison (2013). Pepperdine Law Review, Forthcoming; Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 195. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1858915

Contact Information

Aviva Orenstein (Contact Author)
Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )
211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-8736 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 806
Downloads: 65
Download Rank: 209,814
Footnotes:  182

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.359 seconds