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passover message

04/12/2017 11:14:45 AM

Apr12

 

Dear Beth Am Family,

 

With Passover on the horizon, I find my thoughts drawn to how fractured and divisive our world has become. Whether it is the violence around the globe, the acts of hatred against the other in our midst, or just the tension that is in the air, my soul cannot escape the brokenness of our world.

 

Perhaps, this is the reason why my preparations this year have focused so much on Elijah. Over the year, different haggadot have used the prophet Elijah in two major ways. For most of us, we know Elijah as being the symbol of “welcoming.” This is the reason we can tell stories about how some child opened the door and aunt so-and-so walked through. In these jovial moments, Elijah is meant to be symbolic of our value that we should welcome to our tables those who are different from ourselves. While these moments in our seder may seem trite, they include the important message that, though being different can be scary to us, it is still incumbent upon us to “open the door” and welcome those who are different from ourselves.

 

Another well-known theme about Elijah on Seder night is that he is a symbol of hope. We place a cup for him on our table hoping that he will arrive, bringing forth a world that is much better than the one that we have right now. Hope is an extremely important gift that we need at this point in time. For many of us, the darkness of our days seems to bring us down. However, the light in the message about Elijah can warm our hearts, knowing that with hope the world can become better.

 

For me, I find the greatest meaning in bringing both of these themes together. I truly believe that when we all accept the differences of the other sitting around our tables, we create a world of love and compassion. When all of the tables around the world take in the messages that the Seder and Elijah have to offer, we truly have peace and understanding. When all peoples everywhere internalize “love thy neighbor as thyself,” I truly believe that it is in that moment that Elijah will take his sip and we will have Shalom for all.

 

May each of us take into our hearts the messages of the Seder night and put them into practice in our daily lives.

 

Chag Samei’ach, Happy Passover,

Rabbi Robbie

 

Happy Passover From Beth Am
 
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Tue, November 12 2019 14 Cheshvan 5780