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Alone at the Seder

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

A year ago she held the world's largest Seder. This year she will hold the world's smallest Seder, like the rest of us. This week Sara Goldschmidt, a Chabad emissary in Ko Samui, Thailand, related the following to me: "Last year 2,500 people came to the Seder held here by my husband and I. This year, beginning on Rosh Hashana, we started planning a similar event: we had already ordered tents, generators, and a large crew. Now all we have here in Thailand are gigantic containers full of matzot and wine that no one will eat or drink. Slowly we began to understand that this year's Seder would be smaller but only this week we learned how small: our mission this year is to hold a Seder for the Goldschmidt famlily. For the first time, it's just us. The children will enjoy and benefit from the leisurely pace and the special attention devoted to them, without thousands of Israeli tourists all around. This is something we never experienced before.
This year is extremely difficult for many people but here, too, we can learn something from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. After his wife passed away, he chose to hold his Seder alone. They had no children and the Rebbe would not agree to the requests of his chasidim to join him. He sat alone and read the Haggadah, drank four cups of wine, and did it only with himself. The leader who sent thousands of emissaries to hold huge Seders for millions all across the globe was holding, at the same moment, a small and private Seder for himself. It appears that he meant to tell us something about the enormous value there was in this, too. He wanted to teach us about the importance of introspection, independence, and the ability to be alone - with no one but yourself in order to develop and build yourself. He wanted to remind us that this night is so great and holy that its meaning goes beyond what any social framework could ever contain".


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