This year we are preparing for our beautiful Sedarim with family and friends against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
The tragic impact of Russia’s aggression is being felt by the Ukrainian people, including our Jewish brothers and sisters, in an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis.
In the beginning of the Haggadah’s Maggid section, we will read “… this promise has been witnessed by our ancestors and us; that not only has one risen in history to destroy us; but that in every generation people rise up to destroy us.”
The words of our ancient Haggadah and the story of Pesach are poignantly true today. Yet again, another evil person has risen to destroy us and humanity … and to destroy freedom and the rule of law.
We also read in the Haggadah that “in every generation we must see ourselves as having personally experienced the Exodus from Egypt and that we, too, have been given the promise of freedom.”
The Haggadah reminds us that freedom is never free; that it is something that we must never take for granted…and never assume that we do not have a personal stake ensuring it for ourselves and all peoples.
Whether it is the war in Ukraine or rising antisemitism around the world, in America and on our college campuses … we must do what we can to protect Jewish freedom and freedom for all people.
We must recommit ourselves to ensure our ability to express ourselves with Jewish pride in safety and security. By doing so we also ensure those same values for all people.
My prayer this Pesach is that we, and all good and decent people around the world, will continue to rally together to support the millions of refugees of this current crisis; and that we will do whatever we can to create and sustain vibrant and dynamic Jewish life at home, in Israel and around the world.
Elliot B. Karp is CEO of Hillels of Georgia.