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Let’s hang on to our precious unity…PLEASE!!!

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This Passover will be for me the toughest in my lifetime…the last 6 months has been brutal and many of us will have an empty chair at the table to remember the missing captives we so hope are reunited soon.

Hamas has achieved much pain and tragedy in Israel, the Jewish world, innocent Gazans and broader still and Iran has now come out of the shadows and we face the prospect of deeper challenges.

One thing we (Jews, Israelis and our supporters) have gained from the period is a renewed sense of unity and common purpose BUT it is fraying at the edges.

In the last few weeks I have heard many conversations which are in danger of pulling us back to the way things were. It is difficult not to feel stress in this area when there are many challenges in our nation – the draft, reform, leadership, nationalism, poverty just to name a few.

For all of us, it is a very hard task to stay united as a people when we face such issues but we must! The message this Seder surely must be that we must stick together because history shows time and time again (as it did before 7th October) that we are at our weakest when divided. Let’s not let the enemy have this victory as well.

There are no easy answers but some words of the late Rabbi Sacks give me some inspiration:

“The test of faith is whether I can make space for difference. Can I recognize God’s image in someone who is not in my image, who language, faith, ideal, are different from mine? If I cannot, then I have made God in my image instead of allowing him to remake me in his.”

“True faith is all about love. Love God with all your heart, your soul, your might. Love your neighbour as yourself. Love the stranger because to others you are a stranger. You don’t have to be religious to love, but you have to love to be religious. Love is the space we make for that which is not me. By opening ourselves to something bigger than ourselves, we grow.”

We will never agree with everyone, but we can teach ourselves and those at our Seders that we can at least listen to and understand the views of others, and respect people even if we disagree on key issues. We must.

May we have a Chag Kasher V’Sameyach, may it see the return of those held captive and may we know true peace soon!

To our friends out there who have stood together against an enemy that threatens far more than us but a moderate and loving faith and values based world order, I send our fondest love and thanks!

Let’s work hard to reinforce our unity!!!

Please see this link for more ideas on the Pesach Seder which I wrote a week ago https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/2024-haggadah-themes-one-per-cup/

About the Author
I live in Yad Binyamin having made Aliyah 17 years ago from London. I have an amazing wife and kids including a son in Special Forces and two daughters, one soon to start uni and one in high school. A partner of a global consulting firm and a Parkinson's patient and advocate.
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