October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023

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Clearing the Chametz From Our Heads This Pesach

It’s hard to imagine a din louder than the one that occurs in Israel as a chag approaches, but this time the noise is not about Pesach or even our faith. There’s so much noise, so many protests, so many op-eds, statements, perspectives and weigh-ins from every political leader. That Israel’s judiciary reform debate is at the top of mind of every Israeli politician and even many average citizens seems clear. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is telling us what to believe.

From our perches far away from the epicenter, it can seem important to read everything and try to keep up and understand the intricacies of the debate, to hear all the sides and make sense of it all. To try to predict what might happen and to think of what the ideal solution might be.

But as the realities of Pesach start to make themselves clear—as the portable vacuum blows from a neighbor’s driveway as the minivan gets de-crackered, as dry cleaning bags snap in the wind as they hang perilously from our mailboxes, as silver polish makes its seasonal appearance and fresh groceries, heavy on the eggs and leafy vegetables, start coming into the house—we start to realize that maybe it’s past time to clean up.

Let’s get rid of the chametz this Pesach and focus. For us in Chutz La’Aretz, maybe the real issue is not the Supreme Court (and some in Israel say this too), but it’s about who we are and what we are supposed to do, this Pesach.

We have to remember why we are here in the first place. And by “here,” we mean at our Pesach Seder tables. We are here because of our parents and their parents and their parents’ parents and the unbroken line of generations going all the way back to the escape from Mitzrayim and from slavery. Because we too were slaves coming out of Mitzrayim. We are here because every single one of us is a witness to the most magnificent Supreme Court in the world, the court of Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

As we say in the Hallel each year, we enumerate the miracles that Hashem showed us in the wilderness where He brought us to freedom with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. As much as today’s Medinat Yisrael is debating and protesting, none of this could have ever happened without that first Pesach Hallel. While we ache with the growing pains of Israel’s latest debate, we can’t let it take over from the overarching message of who we are and what we were put here on Earth to do.

We have to remember it’s our job to pass down the Mesorah to our children, as our families have done before us. None of these debates in Israel will matter in 20 or 30 years if we do not take time to tell the stories of the great miracle of our survival by the hands of the ultimate Judge.

We will survive this too.

From our families to yours,
Chag Kasher V’Samayach.
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