Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thoughts for Pesach!

This is a time to celebrate our precious freedom, while remembering the price we paid for it.

Pesach is having an empty chair at the Seder for Israel’s missing soldiers – and a huge place in our hearts for the family of Gilad Schalit.

It’s worrying about how the members of the Fogel family are going to get through their meal, without the five who were slaughtered in their beds last month.

Pesach is so much a part of who we are that Jews all over the world, no matter how far they are from home, seek out the comfort of a Seder together. We are not only commanded to tell the story, we need to tell it.

It occurred to me the other day that Israel has almost stopped believing in miracles while nevertheless relying on them. And there are some things that go way beyond our understanding: When an anti-tank missile hit a school bus near Gaza a week ago, was it a miracle that only one teenager and the driver were on it? Obviously not to the family of the boy that got killed; definitely for those whose children had just disembarked.

There are all sorts of scientific theories to explain how the Red Sea parted, but the “why then?” is miraculous.

Why we celebrate Pesach is similarly easy to explain. That we continue to do so after thousands of years – that we still feel that each of us was part of the Exodus – that’s the miracle. That we end the Seder with the wish “Next year in Jerusalem” is understandable – that we are free to celebrate Pesach in Israel, that’s Divine.

May Hashem give all you Health and Wealth and Time to Enjoy Them.

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