web analytics
May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Brig. Gen. Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Shares his Thoughts for Passover.

Chief IDF Rabbi Rafi Peretz

Chief IDF Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Photo Credit: IDF

This week, we will all sit at the Seder table – some of us in our homes with our families, some of us on IDF bases, and some of us in the field, protecting the people of Israel so that we can celebrate the Festival of Freedom in peace.

3,326 years ago, our nation celebrated its miraculous release from slavery in Egypt, an event which marked the beginning of the journey to the land of Israel. The journey was long and arduous, and full of ups and downs, but in the end an entire nation walked to freedom.

There are those who see the exodus from Egypt as something much more than the salvation of a people from cruel oppressors. This event sent a message of hope that echoed across the world, because for the first time in history, the idea of living as a free people in our land became a possibility.

Egypt did not accept our legitimate claim to freedom, out of a concern that the Egyptian economy, which was based on slavery, would collapse. For many generations afterwards, slavery was perpetuated by regimes and cultures around the globe. But the people of Israel’s cry continued to be heard throughout the world, and turned the world into a better place. It wasn’t for nothing that the leaders of the anti-slavery movement in the United States chose as their rallying cry the eternal words of Moses: “Let my people go” (Exodus 5:1). The torch of freedom that was carried by the people of Israel is to this day still the source of inspiration for enslaved nations, who aspire to freedom and liberty.

The gift of freedom and independence was not given to us on a silver platter. The exodus from Egypt obligated us to free ourselves from the mentality of slavery, and to adopt the consciousness of a free people. The continuation of the journey, in the desert and even within the land of Israel, required both natural and personal sacrifice. Fighting enemies of the state requires self-sacrifice, and adhering to the values of morality and justice requires inner strength.

Despite the inherent difficulties, this is the meaning of true freedom – that a person, and even a nation, can live their lives according to their true natures. Maimonides elaborates and says that the essential difficulty of the transition from slavery to freedom was the willingness to take up arms and fight for freedom. Nothing has changed. Natan Sharansky, who was a Prisoner of Zion in the Soviet Union, sat in Soviet prison for nine years. Who was truly the free person – the judge, who was obligated by the regime to find Sharansky guilty, or Sharansky himself, whose body was imprisoned, but who stayed true to his beliefs and his values? Sharansky gave the answer at his trial: “I am the only free person in this court.”

Our soldiers are the same. A soldier could be standing at a guard post far away from home, but he is a truly free person – because he is faithful to his values and is protecting the freedom of the nation. We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom. They hid in cellars from the horrors of the Inquisition, and they hid in fear of the cruelty of the Cossacks. Despite all of this, they reclined and ate like princes, simple matza made of flour and water that didn’t rise – the matza that symbolizes the pure nature of man. They yearned for the days when freedom would overcome slavery, and prayed that the next year would be in Jerusalem.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

10 Responses to “Brig. Gen. Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Shares his Thoughts for Passover.”

  1. LD Emery says:

    GOD BLESS ISRAEL!!!

  2. Joseph Emery says:

    ISRAEL BE BLESSED!!!!

  3. Usani Utum says:

    IDF you have done well. God bless Israel

  4. MAY GOD BLESS ISRAEL

  5. I salute you Sir for being a noble man!

  6. The IDF needs to fulfill the hopes of millions of Jews across the generations and world more.

  7. Ronald Brown says:

    Haddad ? or whatever your name is ! Go away this is the wrong page for that B.S.

  8. IDF does a great job of keeping citizens and visitors to Israel safe

  9. IDF does a great job of keeping citizens and visitors to Israel safe

  10. Erica Silas says:

    May Hashem keep you all safe. Thank you for protecting us. Chag Sameach

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama watches helplessly as his two-year-old Passover Seder guest throws a tantrum.
Photo of Obama’s Passover Seder ‘Fifth Child’ Tantrum
Latest Indepth Stories
President Obama speaking at Congregation Adas Israel. May 22, 2015.

American Jews who go gaga for Obama are first and foremost “Liberals of the Mosaic Persuasion”

Flag of Illinois

“Illinois is the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against the BDS campaign”

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

Pope Francis at the Western. Is he praying there should not be too many Catholics in the world?

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

More Articles from IDF Spokesperson's Office
IDF soldiers - once upon a time.

The IDF has come up with an 81-second video showing 67 years of Israeli land, sea and ground soldiers in action.

Elite soldiers train to kill terrorist kidnappers and rescue hostages.

Terrorists hide with hostages in a building. How can soldiers rescue the victims and kill the captors?

Aharon and Tzvia Karov prove that faith and belief in a better future is what keeps Israel alive.

“I cried not because I had to undergo surgery, but because I had to leave the army.”

“I knew that being there would allow me to protect other soldiers.”

One missile explosion on Tel Aviv could cause a local disaster. One successful Hamas hack of IDF secrets could cause a national disaster.

During Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers were faced with deadly risks in the Gaza Strip. Sixty four soldiers were killed and many more were wounded in combat. This is the story of one IDF commander who put his life in danger to rescue a soldier kidnapped by Hamas. Lt. Eitan, 23, joined the elite unit […]

Sgt. O’s commander: “We do not fight indiscriminately. We are an army not a terrorist organization.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/brig-gen-rabbi-rafi-peretz-chief-rabbi-of-the-idf-shares-his-thoughts-for-passover/2014/04/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: