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Commemorating Passover for those who cannot

April 14, 2014

UntitledI always complain about Passover.

I complain about the seeming non-existence of food without the forbidden grains. I complain about the perception that suddenly forbidden-grain-laden foods keep appearing in front of me.

But the idea of Passover is pretty incredible.

For thousands of years, Jews around the world have stopped eating forbidden grains for a week to remember those who led us out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. If you go into any religious Jew’s household this week, you’ll find matzo, a Seder plate, Manischewitz and people avoiding contact with yeast. In the United States or Israel, Italy or Russia, all Jews are celebrating Passover, and they’re doing it in much the same way. The same way we’ve been doing it for thousands of years.

Yesterday, three people were killed at a Jewish Community Center and Jewish retirement home in Overland Park. Overland Park, a place that has been called one of the top 10 places to live in the United States, was the site of a possible hate crime.

You never think it’ll happen where you are.

It hurts me. It hurts me that it’s seven decades after the Holocaust, and people still want to see the Jewish people eliminated. It hurts me that someone could come into my little suburb in Kansas and decide to – allegedly – target Jewish community centers. It hurts me that this happened on the eve of Passover, a holiday that celebrates our liberation from slavery and entrance into promise.

Tonight, thousands of Jews across the world will break matzo. We will chant blessings, and we will remember our ancestors who came before us who did the exact same thing.

Because we’re still here.

That’s what’s remarkable about the Jewish people: despite all the adversity and the odds, we are still here to commemorate Passover.

And this year, we commemorate it for ourselves, as well as for those who cannot.

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From → Junior

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