A Passover Message from Jody Pollack
Members of the extended Atlanta Jewish community expresses their thoughts about the 2023 Passover holiday, using the prompt, "Unity Creates Community."
Unity Creates Community
Pesach, the Chag that brings the family together over a meal and a story that has been told for generations. It is a time for wine, laughter, and learning. The story of Exodus is the ultimate example of Unity creating a community. One large mass of humanity moving in one direction, creating familial communities every step of the way.
Now, while one may question Moses’ physical sense of direction – wasn’t there a shorter route? – we know that he was following a very special GPS (G-d’s Positioning System) to get them where they needed to be. The time it took was baked into the route. Because time allows for bonding, creating attachments to each other that ultimately gel into a strong coordinated, unified family.
Of course, within every family, there are those you do not want to see at the table. Those that make you uncomfortable with their politics, personal behavior, or relationship reminders. We are taught to accept those we do not agree with, no matter how much internal strife it causes, because in spite of our personal feelings, they may be near and dear to someone else at the table.
The 40 years it took to reach the promised land allowed for the sands of the desert to wear down the rough edges of emotion and pettiness and prepared this new unified community to take on the physical challenges needed to settle the promised land.
In today’s world of increasing antisemitism, it is more important than ever to cast aside our petty differences and gel into a unified community that protects and defends each other and draws strength from those that came before us. Those that made it through the desert did not do as much for themselves as for us. It is our responsibility to not only continue to tell their story but to ensure that we do not squander their suffering and succumb to the evils of the world because we are splintered over attitudes, tones and ignorance.
So eat up, drink up, tell the story, but this time, think a bit deeper and acknowledge those around you and recognize their value in our community.
Jody Pollack is executive director of the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival.