Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

7th Day of Pesach 5775

Dear Friends,

Hag Sameach!

Last Friday evening, we all sat at our Seder tables and celebrated the Exodus from Egypt, our people's liberation from slavery.

We all thought that the Egyptians had learned their lesson when Pharaoh and his people insisted that the Israelites leave Egypt that very day - the day of Pesach - and that was the end of slavery and oppression. The Torah Reading on the Seventh day of Pesach teaches that it was not over yet. Three days after the departure from Egypt, Pharaoh and the Egyptians have a change of heart. They cannot imagine life without the slaves. Pharaoh gathers his army and his elite cavalry and all the chariots and officers and pursues the Israelites with the aim of bringing them back to slavery:

"The Israelites caught sight of the Egyptians advancing upon them, they were greatly frightened and they cried out to the Lord." (Exodus 14:10)

You all know the story of the parting of the Sea. If you never read Exodus Chapter 14 and 15, you must have seen the movie, "The Ten Commandments".

I believe that this story is relevant to our days. Israel has been threatened by Iran for many years now. We heard from our president that the recent negotiations will bring an end to these threats, and Israel can feel secure.

The last few days, however, our president admitted, in an interview with NPR, that after the ten-year period, Iran will be able to build a nuclear bomb with zero break-out time. It will be up to the US president of that time as to the action that will be taken.

Just like the Israelites could not declare freedom after the night of the Exodus, since Pharaoh was still a threat, Israel, justifiably continues to say that this agreement does not remove the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. What is Israel supposed to do after ten years?

As we celebrate the Parting of the Sea, let us hope that logic will prevail, and the world will demand that Iran give up, once and for all, any plans to develop nuclear bombs, and that Iran should stop threatening Israel's existence.

Can the miracle by the Sea happen in our time too?!

Hag Sameach!