web analytics
January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 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.

In the Egyptian exile we learned another freedom – the freedom to believe that good will win the day. This is what happened when the people of Israel decided to return to their land against all odds. Three years after the Holocaust, the Jewish people in exile gathered and defeated the invading Arab armies time after time. The nations of the world acknowledged the independence of small and brave Israel. We drained swamps, we made the desert bloom, and we paved roads. We built a magnificent country, prosperous and strong, that fulfills the 2,500-year-old vision of the prophets of Israel, the ingathering of the exiles. The lighthouse of freedom of our people, whose light was cruelly extinguished and remained dark for 2,000 years, proudly shines again in our country.

To our dear soldiers and commanders: You are the ones who makes sure that this torch will stay aflame, and that its light will shine throughout our country, and in the darkest corners of the world.

Happy Passover!

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ilana Medar, 18, of Paris, made Aliyah last year.
Jewish Agency Planning for Massive Aliyah of 120,000 French Jews
Latest Indepth Stories
Golan map

Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.

Social Media pic

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Middle-East-map

Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians

Salamon-012315

Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists

In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site

Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.

How many sites that tell you to check your politics at the door have 10,000 likes?

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

While we recognize the Republican Jewish Coalition is hardly a non-partisan outfit, a snippet from a statement the group released is worthy of note:

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Despite the 2005 Koby Mandell Act no Palestinian implicated in harming an American has been charged

The NY Times suggestion that HaMavesar cropping women from a photo is Israeli censorship is absurd.

More Articles from IDF Spokesperson's Office
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 Karov and his wife Tzvia on their wedding day. hours before he returned to the Gaza front and was critically wounded.

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.”

The discovery of a Hamas “urban warfare” manual by IDF forces reveals Hamas’ callous use of Gazans

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: