A Passover Message from Renee Werbin

A Passover Message from Renee Werbin

For our Passover holiday issue, we invited members of our community to share their responses.

Renee Werbin
Renee Werbin

The constant refrain of Passover, Let My People Go, spoken by Moses to Pharaoh over 3500 years ago, resonates with a shrill and jarring voice today. October 7, 2023, is a day that will live in infamy. It’s the day Hamas killed over 1200 of our people and took over 250 men, women and children hostage. These powerful four words echo decades of our people’s struggles against regimes and tyrants that intended to destroy us. Passover, Purim and Chanukah are but three of our holidays where we commemorate, remember and reflect on past victories. All of these victories renewed and reinforced our people’s will and determination to survive.

Our time-honored holiday of Passover recounts the miraculous exodus from 210 years of enslavement in Egypt. One of our most revered traditions is retelling this ancient and stirring story at our own Seder where we gather with family and friends to recount this inspirational story of G-d’s redeeming us from Egyptian persecution and slavery.

L’dor V’Dor, from generation to generation we recite the Haggadah. The word “Haggadah” originates from the Hebrew word vehigad’ata, which translates to “And you shall tell”. This phrase is from a verse in the Book of Exodus which states: “”On that day you shall tell your son, “”I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt”. We are commanded to remember the Exodus and thus we do, each year as we follow the order of the Seder.

The Passover chronicle of liberation from oppression to freedom is intertwined with faith for a better future. It’s filled with hope and now, more than ever, it’s important to sustain that hope for our brothers and sisters in Israel who are entrenched in a long, devastating war. There are still hostages in captivity, soldiers fighting on the front lines and the Jewish people are facing a bout of unheralded anti-Semitism from forces throughout the world.

As we usher in the holiday of Passover, we reflect on our past. We survived the Assyrians, the Babylonians, Haman, Antiochus, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Nazis and a host of others who sought to extinguish our way of life. Throughout the ages tyrants have come to destroy us. We will prevail again. Am Yisrael Chai; the people of Israel live.

As we usher in this season of renewal, may your Passover be inspirational, uplifting and enriching. May your Seders be filled with ruach and meaning, instilling the joys of Judaism in everyone around your table. May a light shine brightly upon Israel and our brothers and sisters in captivity. Let the words ring out loud and clear, LET MY PEOPLE GO.

Chag Sameach.

Renee Werbin is the President of SRI Travel and the Publisher and Co-Founder of Travelgirl Magazine.

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