Beth Cohen
Unabashed lesbian equalist and ardent Zionist

Will there be Passover this year?

All Graphics with permission, by Dana Barlev

A Creature of Habit

I am a creature of habit and plans. I always need to know what will happen next. This is a convenient trait when it comes to work. My daily planner is laid out, sometimes only 2 weeks in advance. As the days go by, I will fill in the details of the timelines and deadlines – sometimes, if I am lucky – a month or two in advance.

This trait or need of mine extends to almost every aspect of my life, and the more stressed -or the closer I am to panic, the more this need takes hold. What day and what time we will go to the supermarket, take a walk, cook, do laundry, etc.… Not to mention the bigger things like getting in the car and driving off for a trek or to visit family or friends.

Day 189 – a blanket of sorrow

It is day 189 – and a heavy blanket of sorrow mixed with tension has settled over Israel. The feelings are so thick, I swear I can see it in the air, not to mention on the faces of everyone who ventures out.

It is day 189 – soon to be day 200 – soon to be the evening of Passover, when we will do as we have done for centuries… sit around the table and tell the story of Pesach. Pesach – it is the mark of our journey from slavery to freedom. Rabbis, intellectuals, and even simple people like me tend to think of this holiday as an opportunity to start afresh. It is a time when we remember our past sufferings and salty tears and look forward to the new, to a kind of second chance to begin again. Freedom.

This year, however, I wonder if Pesach will actually come. We’ve been invited to join in a seder that is 2 weeks away. Even with my need to plan, I cannot commit this to my calendar. I cannot envision sitting around the table, singing, and telling the story of our peoples’ trek to freedom. How can I? How can any of us make this plan when 130 hostages have been held captive since Simchat Torah?


We are all waiting for ‘news’ of THE negotiations. But it feels false. It feels more like a fairytale then the actual exodus from Egypt. It has been more than 6 months since the seventh of October. The calendar says it is April, the Hebrew month of Nisan. And yet, for all of my planning – for all of anybody’s planning it is still the seventh of October. Pesach, less than 2 weeks away, is not planable. It will still be the seventh of October. It will still be that awful Saturday morning, when we planned to wake to one of our happiest of days, Simchat Torah, and were greeted with a Horror none of us had planned for.

In the English language news, we hear Hamas say they ‘can’t find’ even 40 living hostages to set free.

Our Leaders

Our leaders are meant to lead us. Just as they refused to acknowledge all warning and reason, leaving us unprepared for the saddest of Simhat Torah holidays in our history, the King and his minions have shown no regret, no change in their stance. If I cannot look ahead and know that Israel will celebrate Pesach, the holiday of freedom – if we have no leader who can take responsibility for all of Israel to be free on this holiday, I cannot plan to take part in a Seder that may or may not have space on our calendar.

If there are not even 40 living hostages to join the seder, whose freedom are we celebrating and whose story is this to tell? Is there even room for hope?

About the Author
Beth Cohen, born July 19th 1962 in Brooklyn, NY. Attended Syracuse University and made Aliyah upon graduation in Sept 1983. She became a member of Kibbutz Ketura, married and started the journey as a mother to two boys, now 33 and 36 years. Grandmother to a 6 year old and 2 and a half year old. Both are pure light, even when they are not. In 1997, Beth moved her family to Binyamina, where she lived until moving to Zichron with her wife. Throughout the years, Beth has had many jobs, including speech therapist, shiatsu therapist, kibbutz gardner and irrigation manager, medical sales rep, regional sales manager and client retention. Beth and her wife co-founded a medical writing business, and she continues to work as a medical marketing writer and editor. While these occupations have been a constant, Beth's passion and constant is writing, using the written platform as her mediium to share her experiences and life views. In 2017, Beth published her first novel, a futuristic women's dystopian novel, Her Destiny Is Change. The feedback was, and continues to be fantastic. Beth promoted the book with book readings here in Israel and in Amsterdam. In the early 2000's Beth started writing and publish her blog, LesbosOnTheCouch, which became popular both here in Israel and abroad, giving her almost celebrity status among English speaking lesbians in Israel. Currently, Beth, like much the rest of the population is praying for the safe return of the hostages and world peace. The hostages return needs to be real.
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