As Jews we have seen more than our fair share of suffering and persecution.
Every Passover we solemnly acknowledge that God continues to save us from our enemies when we recite or sing V’hi She’amdah at our Seders:
It is this (God’s promise to Abraham) that has protected our ancestors and us, for not only one enemy nation has tried to destroy us, but in every generation, nations have tried to destroy us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, always saves us from their hands.
But there’s something a little sweeter, and way cuter, that sustains the Jewish people from generation to generation, and I witnessed it last night.
I was lucky to spend the second seder at the home of one of my oldest friends. While the Brosgols were not fully represented (my wife and 7-month-old were are in Florida for some R&R), I did come with my other three kids.
While my boys (9 and 7) were capably participating and reading their parts during the Seder (after amusing themselves with assorted distractions- Temple Run 2, Xbox, Celtics-Knicks, and more), my daughter (3) and my friends’ two daughters (3 and 1) were in full-on princess mode. Doll houses, toy kitchens, dresses, and a total emptying of the toy bins, you get the picture.
But this was more than a play date. My daughter, who had been babbling about her “Passover play date” for most of the day, and my friend’s daughters cavorted around the house together in the nicest way. We had a low-key and enormously enjoyable Seder, which they flittered in and out of as they alternately sat at their little girls’ table, ate, and played.
It was a misty-eyed evening, seeing the new generation of our two families loving and playing, eating and laughing, and picking up the friendship in the grand tradition of the two fathers. And even though the playroom was a complete sty after three hours, nobody cared.
So yes, in every generation there are those who seek our destruction.
But at the same time, in every generation we recreate community, friendship, love, and all the best things about Judaism when we come together to celebrate our freedom. If nothing else, that will continue to sustain the Jewish people for another four thousand years.
And it couldn’t hurt if God could keep on lending a hand.
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