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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Passover Memories, Not Just Kneidelach

I'm finally back at the computer.  Yesterday the computer and internet hit bottom in my list of priorities.  I had a Passover Seder to prepare and a house that can never be perfect.  Now Shabbat and first day yomtov are finished.  I counted the first of the Sefirat HaOmer, and now I am sitting at the desk.

I just read Ruthie Blum's Israel Hayom article.  Thinking of Passover she wrote of the past and of her son.
Why is this night no different from all others?
It was a few months into the First Intifada – on the eve of the Passover Seder – when my 5-year-old asked me to remind him whether “Pharaoh was the Hitler of Pesach or Purim.”
His question was as apt as it was precocious. It made me laugh to hear it, though it should have made me cry. Had he been trying to make sense of his history, the query would have been merely adorable. In this case, however, it was tragic, because what he was pondering was still alive and well in his own immediate surroundings. Indeed, when our car was pummeled with rocks on the way home to Jerusalem from Bethlehem one day, he got a taste not only of what the past looked like, but what the future held for the Jews, in general, and for him – up close and personal.
Being attacked by rocks was also something my kids grew up with.  It may sound rather strange to those who weren't there.  The atmosphere and reactions among our neighbors in Shiloh were:
"They aren't going to stop us from living here."
And they didn't.  We're still here in Shiloh and the town is growing.

Ruthie Blum also mentioned Passover, 2002, ten years ago.  Her son was in the IDF then, as were my two.
When he got a furlough for Passover in his second year in the Israel Defense Forces, he was very happy. Coming home for the holiday was not a given, and he was among the lucky ones allowed to enjoy a Seder with his family, instead of having to read the Haggadah in the mess hall with his fellow soldiers.
The thrill was short-lived, however. News of a major terrorist attack made its way to our table – somewhere between the matzah ball soup and the macaroons – just as it was spreading across the country like wild-fire.
We didn't hear about the Arab terror attack on Netanya's Park Hotel until the following night, but our Holiday was disturbed in a different way.  One of our sons was called back to his unit before dawn.  It was the first night of Passover, a holiday, and there was no transportation, public or private available.  How he got to his unit is a story I can't say, just that it was a true miracle.

Jewish History, from Biblical to Modern is a series of attacks, attempts to destroy us followed by our miraculous survival.  Yes, we Jews are a very ancient people, thousands and thousands of years old.  We have outlived and out-survived our enemies and we'll survive the modern ones, too, G-d willing.

Is there any other People/Religion still celebrating miracles that happened over three thousand years ago?

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