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04/06/2015 11:17:35 AM


To my Beth Am Family,

As the sun sets this coming Friday evening, many of us will gather with family and friends to begin Passover. Many of us will arrive at the Seder table with the smells of chicken soup and brisket wafting through our houses. Yes, Passover is about matzah, charoset, and horseradish.  And it is also about the powerful themes of freedom, redemption, and hope. All of these things and so much more make Passover meaningful for us as a Jewish community.

In preparing for this year's holiday, I have found myself gravitating toward the important message that matzah is not only the “bread of affliction” but it is also a symbol of something so much more. At a certain point in a traditional Seder, the leader lifts up the matzah and proclaims, “Ha lachma onya  - all who are in need, shall come and eat." This simple action and symbol reminds us just how much “caring for the other” is a part of our people’s soul. I am struck by the empathy that is embedded within the matzah. This unleavened bread is supposed to remind us that we should not think of ourselves, but rather, think of others. Being connected to the Jewish community during Passover means recognizing that you are part of so much more. You are connected to others. The matzah is there to remind you that your heart and soul need you to think outside of yourself.

And that is the power of community: When a group of people come together for the sole purpose of helping each other. I believe, the power of community is when that group of people realize that they are not in it for themselves, but rather they are in it for the other. When that happens, we better our community, becoming partners with each other and God.

Because of the symbol of the matzah, I wanted to take this time to thank you for being a part of our community. Thank you for giving of your time, your energy, and your resources. It is because of your sacrifice and your sense of selflessness that has made our Jewish community in Yorktown a special place for not only your family but all of the Jewish people in our town and neighboring towns. This could not have happened without your empathy and care for the other.

May your Seder this year be one of health, happiness, and hope for a better future for all people.

Chag Samei’ach,
Rabbi Robbie

Fri, April 10 2020 16 Nisan 5780