The Passover Seder and the Haggdah reading about the Israelite-Jews escaping Egypt – and the heroism during another subjugation period, this time about the Jews’ forced 2000-year exile from their homeland, Israel, wandering in foreign lands who faced an annihilation decree, this time by Hitler.
Back to Exodus, Either 3464 or 3278 Years Ago
During the Passover ritual reading of the Haggadah and the dinner, what is called SEDER – ‘seder’ means order – Jews read the Haggadah. Haggadah is from the Hebrew word to tell. It is the text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder. Reading the Haggadah at the Seder table is a fulfillment of the mitzvah – mitzvah commandment commanded by God to be performed as a religious duty – to each Jew to “tell your children” the story from the Book of Exodus about God bringing the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. As it is written in the Torah, “And thou shalt tell thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which God did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:8.
The Haggadah contains story telling along with deep thoughts. It covers the entire period of the Israelites in Egypt, their redemption from slavery and it delves into predicting the future of the nation of Israel.
The words on one page in the Haggadah are apropos for today, 2021.
Everyone reads together:
We began the Seder as slaves in Egypt, tasting salty tears. Then, we raced through the desert sand and ate matzah baked in a hurry. We passed through the Sea or Reeds and escaped from Pharaoh’s army. We praised God for helping us escape and saving our lives.
Our job of remembering and re-living this amazing adventure is now complete. We have finished our Seder and told our story of freedom.
We now move from the past to the future.
How will I grow this year?
How will the world change?
How can we keep moving from slavery to freedom? (We are now on a trajectory to lose our freedom to modern Pharaohs).
The Haggadah ends with the Jewish people’s great hope for the future: ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’ (Hebrew in English writing: L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim), when Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people is the symbol of the Jewish people’s eternity.
Fast Forward to 1943
Based on the story ‘Buried history: 1943 Passover in the Warsaw Ghetto’
Emanuel Ringelblum (November 21, 1900 – March 7, 1944) was a Polish-Jewish historian, politician and social worker, known for his Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto, Notes on the Refugees in Zbąszyn chronicling the deportation of Jews from the town of Zbąszyń, and the so-called Ringelblum’s Archives of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Oyneg Shabbat (Sabbath) was the code name of a documentary group led by Jewish historian Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi-German occupation of Warsaw in World War II from 1939 to 1942
The website of the film: Who Will Write Our Story?
Emanuel Ringelblum arrived in Warsaw from Galicia in 1919; in 1940 45,000 Warsaw Jews were ordered out of their homes and were cramped into a small section of the city of Warsaw called ‘the Jewish Ghetto’. Ringelblum documented life in Ghetto Warsaw and he and his rebel Jews buried the attesting documents for the world to know, all were found under a Ghetto building that was destroyed by the Nazis as they liquidated the Ghetto.
On Sunday, April 18, the eve of Passover 1943, the last battle of the Ghetto Warsaw Jewish uprising against the Nazis, led by Mordechai Anielewicz, took place.
Today, many Jews take for granted the good life they are offered.
So, here is one chapter in the documentation of life in Ghetto Warsaw, as Ringelblum described, as they fought their battle with words, their only weapons, hoping to win in the far-off future.
“What we were unable to cry and shriek out to the world we buried in the ground … .So the world may know it all … .We would [have been] the fathers, the teachers and educators of the future … .But no, we shall certainly not live to see [the recovery of this archive], and so I write my last will. May this historical treasure fall into good hands, may it last into better times, and may it alarm and alert the world to what happened in the twentieth century … .We may now die in peace. We fulfilled our mission. May history attest for us.”
Remember, the Nazis were aiming to destroy the entire Jewish nation. They were stopped at 6 million Jews they murdered. Today, 76 years since the end of the Holocaust, the Jewish nation has reached the number of Jews counted before Hitler’s sword started to scythe them down.
Seeing the horrors around him, Ringelblum could only hope to win “in the far-off future.”
We, Jews, are here because of these heroes who, in the not so distance past, heroically perished while performing heroism. And we are these heroes’ hope to win in the not so far-off future.
The story of Exodus has some similarity to the Ghetto Warsaw uprising, pointing at the Israelite-Jews wandering in the desert, after escaping Pharaoh’s Egypt annihilation decree, all who had hope to enter their promised homeland in the not so far-off future.
Never take anything for granted.