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Modern Day Exoduses (Tzav 03/24/18)

Rabbi Neil Schuman

Modern Day Exoduses
We recall the exodus from Egypt twice daily with designated prayers in the morning and evening services. Two nights a year, we celebrate this event with prolonged meals, special foods and extensive study and discussion.
Yet Exodus is not a singular concept. From the Jews who fled Eastern Europe in the 19th Century, to those who moved on from the Concentration and DP camps, to those Jews who suffered under the Communist regime to experience freedom in America and Israel, the Exodus speaks to us and to all people.
We experience our personal exoduses: leaving dysfunctional family situations, marriages gone awry, poor health conditions, oppressive work scenarios and other challenging circumstances.
There are times when we all act like one of the “Four Children”, feel the confusion of not knowing why this “night” is different from all others, and finally taste the sweetness of wine.
If you’re looking to bring your Seder into the 21st Century, I highly recommend using this free Haggadah, as it will enliven and enrich your Passover experience:
Hopefully we’ll see a modern Exodus from the plague of assault weapon shootings due to the rallying of the Moses’s, Aaron’s and Miriam’s we see rising from the youth of Parkland High School and all across our country.
This past Shabbat we moved synagogue services to the side burner to emphasize our belief in the preservation of life superseding the observance of Shabbat. A number of us joined the hundreds of thousands of marchers in NYC, while others joined the local rallies in Huntington and Farmingdale. Everyone came away impressed with this new set of redeemers.
A number of signs at the rallies read, “Not Thoughts or Prayers, but Action.” I understand their message. We can’t achieve our goals with just well-wishes or prayers. Jewish tradition is also action centered: The Conquest of Israel in ancient times or modern times wouldn’t have happened without those entering the fields of battle. But prayer is our action to invite G-d to partner with us. It’s a sign of our humility to show we can’t do it all alone. We all need a helping hand, whether it’s mortal or Divine.
This Passover, may we all be worthy of seeing miracles and great change, in our country, community and home.
Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Neil

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