By Talia Carner
Throughout history, Passover has also been the time of increased blood libels and pogroms against Jews. While Jews celebrated freedom, they were being reminded that they were hated to the point of being killed by the dozens, thousands, and millions. As a new wave of anti-Semitism is sweeping over the globe, landing right in
Passover also marks the Spring in our ancient agrarian society, a beginning of a cycle of life, with the blooming of trees and the planting of vegetables and flowers. The fresh start of spring also stands to remind us that our friends and fellow Jews are watching with angst the rise in anti-Semitism in countries from
“Every Jew should consider himself as if he was freed from slavery,” says the Haggadah we’ll read tonight, retelling the story of Exodus. In today’s climate we should add that “Every Jew should consider himself as if he’s just escaped a terrorist bomb.” There but for the grace of God and twist of history, we would not have been spared the wrath and bombs of a Palestinians or extreme Muslim murderers taking shelter in our sacred freedom on these shores. Let’s give our prayers and charity to the over 6,000 injured Israelis forever coping with embedded nails, burned faces, or missing limbs. And as we do that, let us search within ourselves whether we have done all we could for them and for the Israeli soldiers who take the first bullet for us.
The tradition of Passover also calls us to invite to the Seder table any Jew who does not have one. Let’s invite—at least in our thoughts—all our Jewish brethren in countries that do not offer the freedom and protection that the
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