Passover is our sacred holiday recounting the biblical story of the Israelites’ enslavement in Egypt and liberation, after 210 years of slavery, into freedom. The Torah teaches us, with great emphasis, that the Exodus took place in the springtime on the 15th day of Nissan in the year 2448 when the weather was ideal for the journey. One of our most revered traditions is the retelling of this ancient and inspirational story at our own Seders where we unite to recount and retell this inspirational story of G-d’s redeeming us from Egyptian persecution and slavery.
The timeless story of Passover, with its narrative of deliverance from bondage to freedom is an educational masterpiece. It teaches us the importance of faith and hope and inspires us to believe in a future we cannot always foresee or even contemplate. The Haggadah’s ancient and enriching script is interlaced with hope for a better future. This is a lesson we can apply today when antisemitism is on the rise, raising fear and anguish in Jews around the world.
“B’chol dor v’dor omdim aleinu l’chaloteinu.” From generation to generation, tyrants have risen to annihilate us” but we, as a people, have never lost faith. The rise of antisemitism in Europe and around the world is frightening. As we retell the story of Passover, we remember that antisemitism is an evil we have endured throughout the ages. As Jews, we must recognize and fight discrimination together, united as one against this constant threat to our heritage, our humanity and our existence.
As we usher in this season of renewal, may your Passover be enriching, elevating and meaningful. May you celebrate a memorable, joyful, and magical Seder with your families and friends. May this season of renewal sprout a spark of hope, vigor, and optimism in a positive future where our children and grandchildren will rejoice in a world that is united in freedom, liberty and peace. May a light shine brightly upon those in despair.
I can hear the echoes of our parents when they utter their time-honored tradition of wishing us a Zissen Pesach. May yours be sweet and filled with blessings. Chag Sameach!
Renee Werbin is publisher and co-founder of Travelgirl Magazine and president of SRI Travel.