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A timeless matzah message from Columbia University

הפגנות אנטישמיות בקולומביה, וחלוקת מצות לפני החג
הפגנות אנטישמיות בקולומביה, וחלוקת מצות לפני החג

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The following is being written while the second day of Pesach is still being celebrated in the United States. Jews who live outside of Israel follow the first day of Pesach with the observance of an additional festival day. Just before Pesach began the Chabad emissary to the Columbia University campus, shared an important message. When the academy becomes a place unsafe for Jews, when university professors fail to see the clear difference between good and evil, between Israel and Hamas, the following words of the rabbi are especially significant:

“In the last hours before Seder night, I walked around campus and gave out matzahs to Jewish students and lecturers with a clear message: When Jews see a rabbi who walks with pride, with a smile, and with matzahs, they understand that they are not alone since we are all in this together. Later, there were more than 100 participants at our Seder table.

Many Jewish students went home for the holiday, but for whoever stayed — we made sure they had an escort from the Chabad House to their dormitories at the completion of the Seder. Such is the present situation to our dismay.

We will not surrender to the forces of evil. We will sing and dance on both Seder nights and we will not hide. ‘In every generation they rise up against us to destroy us’ — and even prestigious Columbia faculty members can be our enemy.

In Jewish sources, matzah is given two monikers: ‘bread of faith’ and ‘bread of healing.’ This is exactly what we need at present. Faith in the justice of our cause, faith that God is on our side, faith that we are part of a magnificent story, that we are on the right side of history — and healing as the world needs to heal itself from the scourge of antisemitism and hatred.”

If only we would hear more messages like this in America today.


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