Friday, April 3, 2015

Pesach—and Redemption

Redemption: this is the story of Pesach—Passover. It’s the story of being saved. It’s the Jewish story of how the Jewish nation came to be.

Tonight, Pesach begins. All over the world, Jews will sit down to retell this story of how our nation was born out of slavery. The message of Pesach is so deeply embedded in Jewish DNA, even those who reject much of their own religion will celebrate at least some of the holiday’s customs.

As Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz has said, we went down to Egypt in ancient times because we had a destiny to fulfil (“Pesach”, Insights and Inspiration from the Holy Land, April 2, 2015 -Volume 5, Issue 22). The culmination of that destiny was Redemption.

Today, the Jewish people once again have a national destiny. It’s a new Pesach Destiny. It’s a Destiny that will change the world.

Today’s Israel is the key to fulfilling that destiny.

Once, our faith alone carried us. Once, Israel had no concrete role in our destiny.

That’s no longer true.

Since 1948, Israel has become the home—the centrepiece--of our Jewish faith. Now, Israel is the hearth where Torah burns brightest. That Torah renaissance makes Israel today the key to our destiny.

After nearly 2,000 years of exile, Israel has once again become the home of our faith. Israel is once again the center of the Jewish world. The quality and quantity of our Torah here tells us that. The ingathering that has occurred tells us that.

Israel is more than the center of our Jewish world. It’s the home-place of our modern Pesach experience.

How do we know this is true? We know it because we understand that it will be in Israel and upon Israel that our true destiny will be fulfilled.

Our nation was born in Redemption. Our national destiny will be fulfilled through Redemption.

We sing of that destiny at the end of every Pesach seder: “next year in [the rebuilt] Jerusalem!”

Happy Pesach.

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