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Sunday, April 01, 2007

The time of our freedom...

There are as many connotations to the holiday of Passover as there are people celebrating itMention this holiday among a group of Jews and some will immediately think of matzoh... others will think about cleaning house... and still others will conjure mental images of family and friends sitting around the seder table enjoying delicious food

But for some reason most of us seem to forget one of the few actual requirements of the holiday; that we view ourselves as if we had personally been redeemed from captivity... and to pass this self-awareness down to our children so they too will never forget.

The repeated phrase 'Zman Cherutainu' ('the time of our redemption from captivity') is the very cornerstone of the prayers we recite throughout this week-long holiday, yet even as we sit around the seder table reciting our commitment to internalize the plight of being held captive in Egypt, the enticing aromas emanating from the kitchen wipe all thoughts of captivity from our minds.

This year as we prepare for the Passover seder we must keep in mind that while any one of us is held captive by our enemies, not one of us is truly free

Throughout the year, many synagogues add a prayer for the safe return of our captured soldiers to their Shabbat serviceBut like our mental lapses at the seder, we frequently find it difficult to really internalize the plight of captives while surrounded by the warm embrace of friends and neighborsFor those not familiar with it, it goes something like this:

"May the One Who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon, bless the kidnapped and captive soldiers, including among them Gilad ben (the son of) Aviva Shalit; Ohed ben Malka Goldwasser; Eldad ben Tova Regev; Guy ben Rina Hever, Ron ben Batya Arad; Yekutiel Yehuda Nachman ben Sarah Katz; Tzvi ben Penina Feldman; and Zecharia Shlomo ben Miriam Baumel. May the Holy One, Blessed be He, watch them and save them from all trouble and oppression and from all evil and injury.

May He be filled with mercy for them, to cause them to recover and to heal them, to strengthen them and to invigorate them, and to bring them speedily to freedom, to return to the embrace of their families. May they merit long lives and years of much strength and peace. In the merit of our forefathers, may the descendants be saved and fulfill through them the verse, 'Release my soul from imprisonment to praise Your Name' (Psalms 142:8), swiftly and soon, and let us all say Amen." [source]

As always, I am going to take a few days off for the Passover holiday.  But before I sign off I wanted to share my deepest gratitude to you for your companionship, your humor and your wisdom.  Each of you holds the power of gentle persuasion in your hands and (for the most part) you use that power judiciously and for good. 

This year, in addition to keeping me on the straight-and-narrow, I would ask that you also remember these soldiers in your prayers, and that you take the time to lobby your elected leaders for their assistance in gaining the release of our captives.

May this be the year when we are all privileged to live as a free nation... captives, no more.

Chag Sameach!

Posted by David Bogner on April 1, 2007 | Permalink

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» If ... you must Pesach 5767 edition from Soccer Dad
If you haven't read Thoughts on Passover at Media Backspin; you must. If you haven't read a The time of our Freedom at Treppenwitz; you must. And of course you must check out all the blogs he links to! If you haven't read A communal Seder and a beautif... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 2, 2007 8:27:18 PM

» Mitzrayim to Ge'ulah, speedily and in our days from Kesher Talk
Chag Sameach from Treppenwitz, who uses his Pesach greeting post to link to just about every Jewish blog there is. So bookmark it for after the holiday. He also publishes a prayer for captives: May the One Who blessed our... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 2, 2007 11:08:07 PM

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Thanks for thinking of me, David.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Pessah. Please skritch Jordan for me.

Posted by: Rahel | Apr 8, 2007 11:53:19 AM

Hi Trep,

Thanks again.

I found myself... I'm the word "others" in the first paragraph.

I'm honored.

Thanks again.

Chag Sameach!

Can't wait to get my leavening back... have a hankering for a Poptart...

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | Apr 8, 2007 10:42:30 PM

Yer gonna waste your leaven on a poptart?

Sheesh.

Ah, well; to each their own. Hope it's unfrosted blueberry at least.

Posted by: Wrymouth | Apr 9, 2007 6:27:57 AM

Lovely post, my friend. Hope you had a wonderful passover!

Posted by: Bayou | Apr 11, 2007 12:21:07 AM

Dave, glad to know you are man of character and can't be bribed by girl scout cookies.

So, please tell me, if cookies don't seem to work, how is a girl suppose to get noticed by you?

Gee, two years in a row that I've been ahem... overlooked.

I guess next year I will have to send you those California hotdogs that you have raved about. Maybe then, I too will get a star from the Treppenwitz walk of fame. : )

Posted by: jaime | Apr 12, 2007 5:39:22 PM

Thanks so much for including me Dave - just saw it! It's hard to move to a new address when no one knows where your blog is - I appreciate the link!!!!

Posted by: Z | Apr 12, 2007 10:21:59 PM

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