יום שני 10 אפריל 2017
On behalf of the leadership, staff and congregations of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, I want to wish you and yours a Chag Pesach Same’ach – a happy and meaningful Passover.
Just before we sit at the Seder table, I would like to share with you a thought about the meaning of one of our holiday rituals.
The Psachim Tractate in the Talmud teaches us that Hillel the Elder would eat the Matzah and Maror together, according to the verse from the Book of Numbers: “they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs” (9; 11). This custom, which was adopted into the Passover Hagadah and followed to this day, seems more relevant than ever.
In an ever-divisive society, both within and outside of Israel, the IMPJ continues working to make egalitarian and pluralistic Judaism a commonplace practice, striving to make Israel a place where people of all Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds feel welcome and free to live and practice as they see fit. Over the past year, we have continued working to make the Kotel, the holiest site to the Jewish people, a place where all can worship according to their beliefs; we have continued striving towards an Israel where people can get married in a way that is right for them and have the State recognize their marriage; continued establishing Reform minyanim in places where up until then did not have an egalitarian house of prayer and so much more.
On Passover, we are commanded to remember the story of the exodus from Egypt, from having been bound to the ways of another group of people to a state of freedom. This Passover, it is time to adopt the practice of Hillel the Elder beyond the Seder table; it is time to truly embrace differences – differences of taste, as well as differences of practice – and wrap them together so to create a more complete society.
On this Erev Pesach, I wish you a meaningful holiday, filled with different flavors. Gather the differences and place them on your table, teach them to your children and share them with your community; and together, all will be joined as we celebrate the true sense of freedom.
Finally – I want to take this opportunity to thank you again for your partnership, friendship and support, without which, none of what we do could be accomplished.
Rabbi Gilad Kariv