Passover seder, Warsaw ghetto, 1943. Photo:Yad Vashem.


Happy Pesach holiday to you all out there

Our thanks to Dror Feiler,  Israeli-born Swedish musician, artist, left-wing activist and friend, for posting the text we reproduce below.


Today Jews all over the world celebrates Passover (Pesach). It is a 7-8 days holiday that celebrates freedom the “difficult freedom”, as Emmanuel Levinas called it, a freedom based on a demanding code of individual and collective responsibility. So let us remember during this holiday our Palestinians brothers and sisters and all other people that are still struggling for their freedoms. And let us all remember that freedom is not given and that to be free is to struggle for our own and all others freedom.

Jewish culture is a culture of questions. We have been questioning and continue to question everything, and our culture of questions is sanctified in the Passover seder. There, the youngest is participating in the ritual by singing Ma Nishtana, the song of the four questions. And here they are in their essence:

Q: Why eat matzo (unleavened bread)?
 A: To remember we were slaves.
Q: Why eat maror (bitter herbs)? 
A: To remember we were slaves.
Q: Why recline on Passover? 
A: To remember we were slaves.
Q: Why dip twice on Passover?
 A: To remember we were slaves.

But because of the fact that to growing numbers of Jews in the world and to some of them in Israel, the growing Israeli settler state of “Judea and Samaria” and its supporters represent the closest our people has ever come to the likes of Pharaoh and therefore we need a new line of questioning, four new questions

Q1. Why do we eat the bread of our neighbors, instead of inviting them over to break matzo with us and figuring out a way to give each other a place at the table in a free Middle East?

Q2. Why do we swallow the bitter herbs of ethnocentrism, ultranationalism, and pharaonic fundamentalism epitomized by settlers, Likudniks and Rightwingers all over the word alike?

Q3. Why do we recline, most nights of the year, when our freedom remains incomplete, so long as the “giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism” are still at large in these lands?

Q4. Why do we dip into the fountain of forgetting more than we dip into the charoset and the salt water of memory, which are meant to remind us not to do unto others as has been done unto us?

Let this Pesach be a new beginning!


See also Robert A.H. Cohen’s blog today on Patheos:

Does Palestine make celebrating the Jewish Passover impossible?