Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Pesach 5773

Dear Friends,

I wish you and your dear ones Hag Kasher VeSameach.

One of my favorite passages in the Haggadah is Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah's question - whether one should celebrate Yetziat Mitzrayim, the Exodus from Egypt, at NIGHT TIME - until Ben Zoma pointed out to him that the Torah instructs us to feel the Exodus even at night. What he meant was that sometimes we might feel that we really are not free. How can we celebrate freedom when we are in darkness? That has been Jewish history for more than 2000 years. So why do we need to celebrate the Exodus when we are still in slavery (darkness)? Ben Zoma's point is that the Torah says, "Kol Yemei Hayecha" - "All the days of your life". The hope to be free must remain with us, no matter what situation we are in.

Looking back our people have kept that hope - even in the darkest moments of our history. There are stories even from the Holocaust period where individuals tried all they could to observe Pesach. As a people and as individuals, Pesach tells us not to give up - there is a Yetziat Mitzrayim. It happened once and it will happen again and again. Think of what we can do to help ourselves and others feel free from all things that make our life a little dark.

Happy Pesach to you and your family!