The Necessity of Hope

Passover and Israel’s Independence Day are deeply connected. Not just the proximity of their calendar dates but because for centuries Passover, and particularly the Seder, remains the Jewish ritual celebrating our people’s freedom and independence. We turn our Seder tables into the most festive “altar,” we offer prayers of hope and thanksgiving. We lift our glass to Elijah, reaching for redeemed world. Passover is our great national holiday shared by all Jews everywhere.

Another connection between Passover Independence Day can be found on the Shabbat of Passover, usually in the interim days known as Hol Hamoed. On this Shabbat we recite the Song of Songs, that luscious biblical love poem filled with imagery of the Land of Israel. The image of these landscapes, flora and fauna helps ground us in the hills and valleys of this land.

And a wonderful connection between the two days can be found in the words of the biblical prophet Ezekiel, that we chant on the Shabbat of Passover recited as the Haftara (additional prophetic portion).


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