Uriel Vigler

The Haggadah of 2024

Imagine you were a Jew living 4000 years ago. You witnessed the 10 plagues, the Splitting of the Sea, the destruction of Pharaoh and G-d’s protection. A year has passed and you’re sitting at the Seder with your children. Can you imagine how exciting it would be? You’d be enthusiastically telling and retelling the story, every detail of every near miss and miraculous rescue. You’d want to relive the experience and make sure your children never forget a single moment.

Well, this year we’ll be having just that experience. In 2024.

When we sit around the Seder table Monday night—Jews all over the world—telling the story of our Exodus from Egypt and the resilience of our nation, it won’t be like every other year. This year—in addition to the story of the Exodus—we’ll be telling our children the story of the miracles unfolding in front of our very eyes.

The characters are different, but the story’s the same. Here is how it reads:

Once upon a time, we were surrounded by blood-thirsty enemies who wanted to annihilate us. Hamas attacked us on October 7, 2023, in the most murderous and gruesome way. Catching us completely off guard, they managed to slaughter 1400 of us and take many captives, 134 of whom are still languishing in Gaza.

And after coming into our towns, going house to house, murdering, raping, terrorizing, Hamas somehow inspired tens of millions of people around the world to rally for their cause. The lies and hatred that these people spew across mass media, social media, in schools and at protests is terrifying and dangerous.

Then Hezbollah joined in with their equally bloodthirsty venom, and fired thousands of missiles to destroy us and our cities.

Iran, who was technically behind all of this, sent—for the first time ever—close to 500 missiles directly aimed at civilian areas of Israel in the worst missile attack the world has ever seen.

But as we read the Haggadah, we will show our children the secret weapon we possess: the Big Boss. G-d. The same G-d who saved us from Pharaoh 4000 years ago, has saved us countless times since then, and despite all the odds and the very perilous situation we currently face, we know He will continue to save us.

This past Saturday night Israel witnessed a miracle of Biblical proportion. By all logic, Israel should have sustained extensive damage and thousands of casualties. What actually occurred was the equivalent of the splitting of the sea!

This is the story of Passover. It’s our story. A universal story of our survival. It’s the story we’ve been telling our children for thousands of years through all kinds of different persecutions. This year, we are watching it unfold in front of our eyes.

So as we gather around the Seder table to tell our children the story of our Exodus, let’s tell them our story. Our enthusiasm will be elevated, our love for Hashem palpable, as we realize the incredible miracles he has done for us.

As we eat our matzah and drink 4 cups of wine, we will pray more than ever for the Final Redemption and the coming of Moshiach. Israel is and always will be the safest place in the world. L’Shana Habaah B’Yerushalayim. Next year in Yerushalayim!

About the Author
Zimbabwean-born Rabbi Uriel Vigler has been directing the Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side of Manhattan together with his wife Shevy since 2005. In addition, he founded Belev Echad which helps wounded IDF soldiers. He has a weekly blog on current events. He is the proud father of eight children (including triplets) and leads a very young, vibrant and dynamic community.
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