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To my son, on duty in the IDF for Passover

We miss you, but you are doing what our ancestors did, when they took up arms and partnered with God to defend the people, and we are so proud
The Israel Defense Forces Passover greeting, 2019. (Facebook)
The Israel Defense Forces Passover greeting, 2019. (Facebook)

Seder night 5782

Dear Son,

With you out on army patrol duty, we miss you terribly on this, the seder night — a night on which we have been together every year since you were born. While, unfortunately, tonight you cannot be part of our fulfillment of vehigadeta levincha (“and you shall tell it to your children”) in person, we wanted to send this message for you to read during the seder, so we can do so, at least to some extent, from afar.

We are extremely proud of you! Our generation is so privileged to be fulfilling our people’s millennia-long dream to live again in our historic homeland, and it is because of the commitment of you, your IDF teammates (including your sister, who thankfully is with us tonight), and members of all of Israel’s security forces — the bravest of the brave! — that we and the rest of the nation are able to gather around the seder table tonight.

Protecting our citizens is a national responsibility (not merely a “right”) that comes with living here, and it is a privilege. So it was, after 40 years in the desert — a miraculous existence during which our ancestors simply uncovered the manna from heaven — that, when they turned to enter the land, they had to do their part and take up arms, partnering with God to safeguard our people’s security. And so it is today.

You and your teammates — our very sons and daughters — are each a vital link in the age-old chain of our people’s history, and a symbol of the bright hope for Israel’s future. Each Israeli citizen owes a deep debt of gratitude to all members of its security forces, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, for your dedication and your courage.

Wishing you were here to help your sisters steal the afikomen, share divrei Torah, and make the seder more fun, like you always do.

May God always protect all of you, as you join Him in protecting all of us. Thinking of you, as you hold your own seder, on our national border, inside a tank (“Why is this [seder] night different than all other [seder] nights” indeed!).

Very much looking forward to sharing many seder nights with you and your amazing smile in the future!

כל הכבוד וחג כשר ושמח!

Love, Abba and Ima

About the Author
Ami Hordes lives with his wife and their four children in Jerusalem, where he gives a weekly class in Tanach to adults. He is a partner at S. Friedman, Abramson & Co. Law Offices, where he represents Start-up Nation investors and companies, in a corporate practice that focuses on equity and debt financings and M&A transactions.
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