Passover is About Freedom
Publisher's NoteOpinion

Passover is About Freedom

AJT Owner and Publisher Michael Morris shares his thoughts on Passover and relates the holiday to some of the crises going on around the world.

Publisher Michael Morris
Publisher Michael Morris

As Passover approaches, I am reminded again, after some 2,300 years, Jews are still not safe in this world. Alongside of the Jews, I am not sure democratic, freedom loving Americans are particularly safe either. For millennia, tyrants and dictators have wanted to take over other peoples. What has become scarier is that many tyrants and dictators today just want to kill people they do not like. In fact, some feel it is their right, responsibility or even obligation to murder others who do not think the same way, pray the same way or just live the same way as they do.

Today, there is an axis of evil that has weapons and technology that far overshadows the capabilities of previous era’s maligned rulers. Drones, satellites, GPS, nuclear weapons all are being watched carefully as they are being used (or threatened) in warfare for the first time (or in new ways). And through the Internet, social media, and iPhone cameras, we all get to participate in real time with these wars, strategy, bloodshed, intent, terror, and propaganda.

Even though Russia’s war in Ukraine and Hamas and Iran’s war against Israel are thousands of miles away, we are in their crosshairs. As Tom Clancy would say, they represent a clear and present danger. First, neither Putin nor the Ayatollah will stop if they are successful in their current campaigns. Why do we know this? Because they have told us, year after year, their plans, goals, and aspirations. Second, they consider our freedom, democracy, and capitalism abhorrent and the linchpin to our downfall. Today, as I write this, they both are using these basic tenants of our life in America (freedom, democracy, and capitalism) against us, and they are hoping we do not notice. These wars are not coming to our shores, they are here and have been for decades.

Freedom is not free. The Haggadah teaches us this. Our American forefathers taught us this. We learned again in World War I & II. In every instance in which we have learned this, we have also learned that it is cheaper to bring the fight to our enemy rather than fight in our own home; and, that the longer we wait to stand up to tyranny, the costlier it is in terms of life, liberty, and resources. Anyone who studies history will tell you that history repeats itself. The question is, when will we have the awareness to spot it and fortitude to act? I am no historian, politician, or strategist, but these trends are so glaring I find it virtually impossible not to notice.

With all this said, I have not even mentioned China. Xi Jinping, another authoritarian tyrant who is waging a very quiet war against us in America and his neighbors closer to home. He is following in Putin’s and the Ayatollah’s footsteps. The only difference might be that he is better equipped than Russia and Iran together, significantly stealthier and has not, as of yet, begun a physical assault. Make no mistake, however, China creates a trio in the axis.

This Passover, the world is in the most precarious position it has been in 80 years. America and our ideals are under assault more now today than any other time in our 250-year history. Worldwide antisemitism is at a peak and Jews are less safe than at any time since the Holocaust. As I look at the world around me today, I almost feel like as I read the Passover Haggadah, I should be remembering the good ‘ole days.

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