A very happy Passover to you and your families! May you experience the joy of the holiday, enjoy the beauty of a spring snowfall, and savor the delicious foods of the season.
As the holiday of Passover begins; as we prepare to retell the saga of our people’s courageous escape from Egyptian slavery, the American Jewish community is confronted again with the continuing visage of persecution and hatred. It is becoming more apparent that the cowardly shooting and deaths of three people using Jewish communal facilities in the Kansas City suburbs was in some measure, if not completely, motivated by anti-Semitic animus. And so the values that we will discuss around our Seder tables take on new meaning, as we try to escape the scourge of anti-Semitism, and liberate ourselves from senseless human prejudice.
When we see the empty place setting or goblet set aside for Elijah at our Seder tables, we might think of the three people killed in yesterday’s senseless acts. Along with the Jewish community of Kansas City, we mourn the loss of life and we send our condolences to the families. We also might think of many others who have been killed because either they were Jews or – as in Kansas City –they were non-Jews associating with the Jewish community. With these thoughts in mind, our struggle against intolerance and racism continues as we rededicate ourselves to the liberation of people everywhere from the bonds of persecution.
May your holiday be sweet! May your homes be joyous with sounds of celebration! And may we find reason to attach ourselves to the ongoing effort of human liberation! A sweet and happy Passover to you!