As I was sitting in the home of my son and his wife with my grandchildren, who were all born in the land of our ancestors, I contemplated the story from the Haggada of our journey to become;” emancipation from slavery,” to wander for 40 years in the Sinai to be cleansed and reborn as proud Jews in our God given and “Promised Land”. I realized that our own family “tribal” history mirrors the story of our peoples exile and rebirth in our homeland, which is the true theme of Zionism.
I looked at my son Natanel, the host of the Seder and I could not help seeing the image of my paternal grandfather Elisha ben Natanel and his father Natanel Ben Moshe HaLevi – known as Sanna also sitting as in the painting alongside him.
In my mind, I was thinking that this painting of the three Rabbis had inspired the thought of the story our people, our “Mispuacha” if you will “Our Tribe”.
” What persecution, merciless and blind, Drove o'er the sea - that desert desolate-These Ishmaels and Hagars of mankind?”
The world has forgotten that when World War II ended, the Arabs hardened their hearts even more. That those displaced Jews who did survive and wished to leave the European graveyards could not do so. They, the Arabs, did not heed the lesson of those who oppress and deny he who sits in Judgment and loves our people.
Exodus Chapter 14:
“23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.26 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Stretch out thy hand over the sea that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.'27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, even all the host of Pharaoh that went in after them into the sea; there remained not so much as one of them.”
“10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of
lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. Israel
11 And they said unto Moses: 'Because there were no graves in
, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to bring us forth out of Egypt ? Egypt
12 Is not this the word that we spoke unto thee in
, saying: Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.' Egypt
Exodus 16:3 and the children of Israel said unto them: 'Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'
When I awoke this morning and as I read through the postings I saw once more the beautiful and inspiring words of a Native “American” Facebook Friend Ryan Bellerose upon his visit with Jewish friends for a Seder.
“You notice I am saying our, because all indigenous people hold these things in common. I think every indigenous person who cares about indigenous things should try to attend a Passover Seder. Honestly I think everyone should.
My people do not have a Seder, we are still in our "Diaspora" but I always find it strengthening to be around my Jewish family during holidays, seeing them being Jews, doing Jewish things is heartening to me, after all if they still do this stuff for three thousand years later, how hard is it for me to stay traditional when we are barely into year 150?
I watched as they didn’t even remotely follow the script, as they laughed and argued over minutiae, I saw them living up to their name as we argued about random passages. I told my friends that if I was actually gonna be Jewish I would probably be a Karaite lol (for those of you who get the joke, for those who don’t meh) I said I am the kind of person who will read something myself and figure it out.
I love this holiday, basically, they remember one of the most horrific times for their people but more importantly they celebrate their escape and they thank the creator profusely.
They have a prayer they say that I find incredibly strengthening its called the Dayenu, they say several things and then say " it would have been enough after each thing, it shows a humility and a gratitude that is rarely seen today in the modern world.....
Dayenu. it would have been enough.
I think I have a few things to add to it
If you had only ever shown me that there is hope
If you had only given me friends when I felt like nobody cared
If you had only put people in my life who keep me going
If you had only ever shown me that there is strength in being proud of my self and my people
If you had only given me strength of will to fight and the wisdom to listen
So when someone asks me why I do this stuff even when its a pain in my ass, even when I get death threats from people who hate Jews or stern emails from Jews that are upset with me about whatever they get upset about, I think from now on I am just gonna answer