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Passover Message from 5776

04/22/2016 10:11:39 AM


To My Beth Am Family,
As the sun sets this evening, we all will sit and partake in the three thousand year old Jewish tradition of remembering the slavery and freedom of our people through the Seder. While each of our Seders may be a little different, there are still some specific customs and symbols that bind us. We all will crunch on Matza, eat some Maror (some more than others), and retell the story of our people in some way.
Some might include in their Seders the tradition of opening the door for the prophet Elijah. Many of us use this moment in the Seder to remember how important it is to remember the stranger within our midst. While this welcoming message is extremely important, there is another interpretation I find myself gravitating towards in these trying time. 
Jewish tradition teaches us that it is Elijah who will herald the Messianic era. This special prophet is predicted to return for the purpose of letting us all know that Shalom L’olam, eternal peace for all, is about to come. Therefore, we yearn for Elijah to come to our houses, to let us know that shalom is coming soon.
We live in a world where people are still fighting for racial and economic justice, BDS movements are rioting on campuses protesting Israel’s right to exist, and political refugees are fleeing their horrific homelives only to be rejected by foreign governments. We seem to live in a world where it is more apropos to fear thy neighbor than to love thy neighbor.  We live in a time when “give peace a chance” is replaced with “not in my backyard.”
I believe now more than ever we need Elijah to come. I believe now more than ever, when we open our doors for the great prophet, we need to look with deep seeking and hopeful eyes, because our world is broken. In these dark times, we must not forget the hope that Elijah brings. We open the door for Elijah at one of the darkest moments of the Seder because he brings hope. He brings light.
Let us take with us this year a message of hope for tomorrow. May their come a time soon when we will see Shalom L’olam - peace for all. And until such time, may the hope of Elijah’s coming lead us to do acts of Tikkun, acts of repair. For with our “collective acts,” then maybe we, ourselves, can work towards a true Tikkun Olam, a repairing of this broken world.
Chag Samei’ach and Happy Passover,
Rabbi Robbie

Mon, July 13 2020 21 Tammuz 5780