“In each and every generation, a person is obligated to regard himself as though he actually left Egypt.” We are obligated to look at the story of Passover and the notion of being a free Jewish people in every generation, and today it is more relevant than ever.
The road to the land of Israel from Egypt was not easy. Thousands of years prior to the “Arab-Israeli” conflict, and generations before our story as a “Start-up Nation,” our people began their way to return home.
The walk in the desert took 40 years. No Jews who left Egypt as slaves were allowed to get to the land of Israel, and only those who were born free on the way to Israel managed to enter. Thousands of years forward, only the last 3-4 generations of Jewish people were born at a time in which we have a state of our own, something that my great-grandmother could not even imagine possible.
Nowadays Jewish people worldwide know that there is one country that serves as a safe haven to us. The issue is, we start to forget what the world looked like without a Jewish home and a Jewish State. Forget life in a world where our future depended on the mercy of foreign leaders or the neighbors we had. The times that when they liked us things were going well, but when they were mad at us, Jews were being killed.
As the first few free Jewish generations, having our own modern Jewish state, we must remember that we are lucky enough to live in a world where the Jewish people are powerful and not powerless, where we have a home and are not homeless. Most impotently, we cannot take this freedom for granted. But many do take it for granted, especially among the younger age group that was born “free” at a time when Israel already exists. We do not always remember the sacrifice our grandparents made in order to get to that day.
We often hear the phrase “tikkun olam” from young Jews around us, that we must make the world a better place and in order to do so Israel needs to fix itself. As they mention tikkun olam they forget the second part of the phrase: “tikkun olam b’malchut shaddai,” to “repair the world in God’s Kingdom.” When we actually read the full phrase and not half of it, we know that repairing the world in God’s Kingdom means having a strong Israel as God brought our people to the land of Israel thousands of years ago, making it his kingdom. As the Jewish people rebuilt the home we lost, we need to make the world a better place by having a strong Israel, not a weak one. Thus, we must support Israel, our home, and not weaken it. We can challenge our Israel in order to get better, but internally, and not by way of joining our detractors and allowing others to attack our home.
These new generations were born in a world with a powerful Israel, in a world where they are not chased around for being Jews and have nowhere to run. The story of Passover is a story of freedom and strength. A story of trust and pride. A story in which we look back and realize it was not always so easy to be Jewish. As some of us enjoy the fruits of being born in a great era for the Jewish people, we must remember that a lot of sweat and blood was dropped in order for us to get here today. I call all of you to continue appreciate daily the miracle that is Israel, and keep fighting for it.