Statement By Rabbi Saul Emanuel – Passover 2019
Pesach celebrates our escape from Egypt as well as it being a time of our freedom. We are celebrating our nation’s release from bondage, slavery, suffering and on to a brand new life. A life of receiving the Torah and its commandments and the enjoyment received by carrying out all the commandments written therein. We follow the Torah’s ways that bring us enjoyment, satisfaction and rewards in our life’s journey.
Persecution of Jewish people has been a major part of Jewish history. When one community is affected, as a nation we all hurt. When one community is attacked, the entire Jewish nation is attacked. When one school is bombed, our whole community is afflicted. The pain we feel for each other is unbound. From France to Israel or to Pittsburgh and many other cities worldwide we are targeted as a nation and as a people. These hateful acts, vicious words and intolerance of our democratic society continue unabated, with hardly anyone speaking out against the abhorrence of these horrific attacks.
Pesach reminds us that our people do not give up; we have a guaranteed special protection from Hashem and it is with this special protection that we continue to endure. This Yom Tov affirms our unity, a nation that left Egypt and spread out all over the world, even though we are divided by seas and cities. We need to strengthen ourselves and remember that these acts are on the rise and have unfortunately become an accepted norm amongst the majority of other nations.
The Haggadah states, B’Chol Dor vaDor Omdim LeChaloseinu, V’HaKadosh Boruch Hu Matzileinu MiYadam – in every generation there will be those who try to annihilate the Jewish people and their beliefs. The horrors of this past decade, specifically this year, have hit an unprecedented number of societies. The Jewish people have been tormented by antisemitic attacks universally. Let us reaffirm to our families and our guests, that we are one nation serving Hashem as one. Torah is our protection; it is our guarantee. Hashem will save us from our enemies’ hands, He will save us from their violent acts. He will protect us and ensure the continuity of our people regardless of what any individual, community or government says.
This year, let’s eradicate the hate by increasing our loving kindness towards individuals in their time of need. Let’s give extra charity, let’s invite someone to our Seder, let’s share a meal, let’s provide for those who cannot support themselves. Let the acts of love eliminate the hate. May we celebrate the Ultimate Freedom with the coming of Moshiach, B’mheirah Veyameinu, Amen.
Rabbi Saul Emanuel