Wednesday, 24 March 2010

This Year IN Yerushalayim!

Pesach (Passover) is fast approaching. As Jews around the world prepare their homes for Pesach, cleaning, shopping, cooking, inviting friends and family to the Sedar night it is easy to get caught up in spring cleaning and making an event. However, the important part is to remember what Pesach is about.

In an earlier post we spoke of the Avos (our Forefathers) who first came to know Hashem and follow the One Living G-d. Yaakov and his sons went down to Egypt at the time of the famine and the Pesach story tells of our being saved by G-d from slavery to receive the Torah and come into Eretz Yisrael, a Nation, ready to serve G-d in Israel fulfilling Torah and mitzvos.

Around this time, many are planning a "walk for life" trip to Poland and certain concentration camps. An attempt to remember what happened. The video below links the importance of remembering the Hollocaust with the Exodus.

As we are reminded daily, we have to remember the Exodus and that we were strangers in a strange land. We were slaves in a land that was not ours. In todays time we are permitted to live in Eretz Yisrael once more, but we are far from free.

Sadly there are Jews who are not able to enjoy to spirit of Pesach fully. They lack the basic Kosher food required. They lack the ability to purchase new clothing, beautiful garments to feel like menchen and truly free to enjoy this special Chag.

There is a special mitzvah called Maot Chittim, specifically to help Jews in need with the minimum matzah they require to fulfill their obligation for the Sedar night. In truth it is an extended term indicating providing the poor with their Yom Tov needs.

While some like to travel to look at the remains of tragedies that occured, the Klaussenberger Rebbe, himself a survivor of some of the camps, teaches that the way to remember is by building and strengthening our fellow Jew. While some were bewildered at the time of liberation, the Klausenberger Rebbe was busy preparing burial for the Jews whose bodies liay in piles around. He made sure there was a Kosher kitchen, a synagogue and even was prepared to give up his own socks to make sure a little orphan girl had her feet covered.

As one survivor told her family, a major memory of Bergen Belson was that their first year there they managed to make matzot. Yes, right in the death camp, they made matzot. They remembered Pesach. Help us to honour the Jews who gave their lives throughout the history of the Jews, till today, not by walking through deserted spaces of doom, but through providing the basic needs to our fellow Jew to enjoy Pesach as it should be. In freedom with everything they require to feel like a Jew, to have self-respect, dignity and food fitting for a Yom Tov.

May we enjoy THIS year in Yerushalayim, all of Am Yisrael together with our Righteous Redeemer and our Final Temple.

Chag Pesach Kasher ve Somayach.

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