Passover celebrates a formative moment for the Jewish people - the crossing of the Red Sea. It was literally formative because it formed us - or rather, it transformed us into a free people. Avadim hayinu, we sing. We were slaves; now we are free.
But today, for many of our sisters and brothers in Europe, that freedom may feel sullied. For how free are we when we must remove mezuzot from our doorways, kippot from our heads? How free are we when we hesitate before venturing out, particularly to synagogue? How free are we when we consider the murders, rapes, and anti-Semitic riots in France, Belgium, and Stockholm?
We consider all this with the approach of Yom Ha'Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We at EHNTJC will honor that day by learning. This Wednesday evening, we will welcome Charlotte Bonelli of the American Jewish Committee in New York. Ms. Bonelli will discuss her new book, Exit Berlin, a true story about a family fleeing Germany during the Holocaust. We thank the Men's Club for sponsoring this program.
And on Thursday morning, 11 am (in place of our Bible class), we will welcome Eric Fusfield, Deputy Director of B'nai B'rith International. Mr. Fusfield, a law school friend of mine who visits Europe frequently, will speak about the rise and resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe.
No reservations are necessary for either event. Just come and learn about the horrors in Europe we faced then and the challenges in Europe we face today.
Also, please remember to RSVP for our April 26 JUF event with Gil Tamary, Israeli radio host. Mr. Tamary will speak about the new political terrain in Israel.
Shabbat Shalom to all and Moadim l'Simcha.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill