Tomorrow at sundown, the holiday of Passover begins.
This is the time when the Jewish people celebrate our freedom from slavery in Egypt–when we escaped the Pharaohs who killed our first born male children and treated us poorly for over 400 years.
For the last two years, we’ve had to downgrade the celebration–COVID would not allow to gather together to retell the story of leaving Egypt, trekking through the desert, and finally winding up in the Holy Land. This year, though COVID still lurks in the shadows, but we can finally meet together for this occasion.
But our celebration this year is subdued because of what is going on in Ukraine. The parallels between what happened in ancient times and what is going on in Eastern Europe are striking. We see innocent women and children slaughtered for no reason. We see cities lying in ruin.
But we also see a people who will not give in. They are fighting back and pushing back the enemy. They have tasted freedom and they aren’t going back to slavery of any sort.
Poet Emma Lazarus said, “Until all of us are free, we are none of us free.”
On the eve of Passover 5782, we hold the people of Ukraine in our thoughts are we celebrate our freedom. And this year we say, “Next year in a free Ukraine.”
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