May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Different this year—sadder, harder, more imminent. I am uncomfortable with the phrase “bring them home.” It seems to place the onus on the brave Israeli soldiers. “Let our people go” might be more apt.

I can recall prior times of pre-Pesach angst. Waiting for our son to return from yeshiva while the No. 18 buses were blowing up on the streets of Jerusalem. I remember scrubbing shelves until my hands were raw, hoping that somehow my efforts would translate into peace 7,000 miles away.

There have been other impossible seasons. Our daughter in Israel during the first Intifada. A grandchild’s bar mitzvah with Scuds flying overhead. Time spent in a safe room in the middle of the night.

But this year—especially this year, every night, every day, every moment since October 7, has been different. On the evening of April 22, as we gather around the Seder table we will recall our years of pain and we will celebrate our freedom from captivity. But this Seder night will be different because we know that there are those with hardened hearts who yet refuse to let our people go.


Anna Gotlieb is the author of four books: “Between the Lines,” “In Other Words,” “Full Circle” and “Pinkey’s.” The first two are collections of first-person vignettes. The last two are novels.

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