Monday, April 02, 2007

The Time of our Freedom?

I know this is not an original thought, but it occurs to me that Pesach is anything but a time of Freedom for modern Jews. First there is the enslavement of the cleaning and preparation for the holiday. The spending of hundreds of dollars on new(meaning those items that you have in your cabinets but have been opened) or special food. If you are fortunate enough to be able to go away for the holiday, the spending of tens of thousands of dollars for the hotel in Miami or Aruba. For those who have gone away, at some point it becomes an expectation, and not a privilege, Hence, you become a slave to that experience. It is no longer something that you want to do, it becomes something you MUST do. Then there are all the other things: the cooking, the clothes shopping and all the other things that go along with it. At least since there are so many products for Pesach now it has become pretty easy to maintain the comforts of year-round while still observing Pesach.
But let's assume you can get through all this, and still feel that you are truly free. Not all of us are. Many are slaves to addictions. Slaves to all sorts of negativity in our lives. And worse yet, some of us are truly not free in the literal sense of the word. And all of the above things pale in comparison. We have several Israeli soldiers that many of us have forgotten about: Gilad Shalit, Udi Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and the "other missing soldiers": Yehuda Katz, Tzvi Feldman, Zachary Baumel and Ron Arad, our brothers who were taken captive while fighting for the people and the security of the State of Israel. There are those who have suggested that we add some meaningful prayers/thoughts to our seder to remember thise missing soldiers. One is a Passover Prayer to add right after "Avadim Hayinu" Another is to add a "Kos Shvuyim", a cup of wine, right after Elijah's cup for the captured Israeli soldiers. I think they are both great ideas.
Tonight, let us lift up, or pour a cup of wine and recite the readings above (the link) in order to make sure that we do not forget our brothers who
are still in captivity.

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