web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Passover Guide for the Perplexed, 2014

Passover's centrality in the American culture, state of mind and ethos has been evident from the 17th century Pilgrims and the 18th century Founding Fathers, until today.
A Jewish child walks beside a stream near Jerusalem. The water from the stream is used to make matzo for Pesach.

A Jewish child walks beside a stream near Jerusalem. The water from the stream is used to make matzo for Pesach.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

1.  The Passover legacy constitutes the foundation of Judaism, and is therefore included in most Jewish blessings (“in memory of the Exodus”).  Passover symbolizes the rejuvenation of nature and mankind, spiritually and physically, individually and collectively/nationally.  Passover stipulates that human rejuvenation – just like the rejuvenation of nature – must be driven by memory/history/roots.   Therefore, parents are instructed to educate their children about the lessons of Passover. Passover was an early – and much more successful – edition of the (19th century) Spring of Nations.  It is celebrated in the spring, the bud of nature.  The biblical scroll of Song of Songs, which highlights spring, is read during Passover.  Spring, Aviv in Hebrew (אביב) consists of two Hebrew words: Father – אב - of 12 – יב – months/tribes.  Spring is mentioned 3 times in the Torah, all in reference to the Exodus.  Passover – which commemorates the creation of the Jewish nation – lasts seven days, just like the creation of the universe.

2.  Passover is the oldest Jewish national liberation holiday, highlighting the comprehensive nature of Judaism: religion, nationality, culture/morality, language and history.  Passover underlines the centrality of spiritual, physical, individual and national liberty and optimism, playing a critical role in preserving Judaism, Jews and the yearning to reconstruct the Jewish Homeland during the super-challenging 40 years in the desert and the 2,500 years of exiles, destruction, pogroms, the Holocaust, wars and terrorism.

Passover – the role model of faith, education, morality, responsibility and governance driven liberty – interacts with Shavou’ot/Pentecost – the role model of morality. Liberty and morality are mutually-inclusive.  The interdependence of liberty and morality distinguishes Western democracies from rogue regimes – a clash of civilizations.

The Hebrew word for “responsibility” – אחריות – encompasses the word “liberty” – חירות.  It begins with the leading letter in the Hebrew alphabet, א, and ends with the last letter of the alphabet, ת – encompassing the total responsibility of leadership.

The Exodus is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, equal to the 50 years of the Jubilee, a time of liberation. 50 days following the Exodus, Moses received the Torah (the Pentecost Holiday), which includes – according to Jewish tradition – 50 gates of Wisdom.  What does that mean for the 50 States in the USA, whose Hebrew name is ארצות הברית – the States of the Covenant?!

According to Heinrich Heine, the 19th century German poet, “Since the Exodus, freedom has always spoken with a Hebrew accent.”

3. Passover, and especially the Exodus/Liberty, were the pillars of fire guiding the twelve tribes of Israel, and the thirteen American colonies, from subjugation to sovereignty. The Passover legacy comprises a critical part of the American story. Moses, the US Founding Fathers and Israel’s Founding Father, Ben Gurion, were challenged by the “loyalists,” who were intimidated by the price/sacrifice of liberty, preferring subjugation to Egypt, the British King and the British Mandate. They featured in prior editions of the clash of civilizations against Pharaoh, the British monarchy and church and the Arab/Muslim world.  The latter still rejects non-Muslim (“infidel”) sovereignty in any area considered – by Muslims – to be the abode of Islam (e.g., Spain and Portugal, southern France, Israel, etc.).

4.  Passover’s centrality in the American culture, state of mind and ethos has been evident from the 17th century Pilgrims and the 18th century Founding Fathers, until today. The Pilgrims considered Britain “the modern day Egypt,” the British king was “the modern day Pharaoh,” the sail through the Atlantic Ocean was “the modern day parting of the sea” and America was “the modern day Promised Land/New Canaan.” In 1775, the president of Harvard University, Samuel Langdon, said that “the Jewish government [that God handed down to Moses] was a perfect republic.” Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense (the cement of the 1776 Revolution) referred to King George as “the hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh of England.”  The root of the term Federalism is “Foedus,” the Latin word for “The Covenant.” The Founding Fathers studied the political structure of the semi-independent 12 Tribes (the colonies), which were governed by tribal presidents (the governors) and by Moses (the Executive), Aaron (the Judiciary) and the 70 Elders (the Legislature). John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin proposed the “Parting of the Sea” as the official US seal. George Washington and John Adams, the first and second presidents, were compared to Moses and Joshua. Washington was eulogized as Moses and Virginia was compared to Goshen.

About the Author: Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger is consultant to Israel’s Cabinet members and Israeli legislators, and lecturer in the U.S., Canada and Israel on Israel’s unique contributions to American interests, the foundations of U.S.-Israel relations, the Iranian threat, and Jewish-Arab issues.


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.

15 Responses to “Passover Guide for the Perplexed, 2014”

  1. Thank you almighty GD.
    YOU ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WORD
    PRAISE YOUR HOLY NAME…
    SHALOM TO ISREAL..

  2. Thank you almighty GD.
    YOU ALWAYS KEEP YOUR WORD
    PRAISE YOUR HOLY NAME…
    SHALOM TO ISREAL..

  3. Praise God for Israel’s sovereignty.

  4. Praise God for Israel’s sovereignty.

  5. Frank Reina says:

    God is still in charge…His people still apple of His eyr

  6. i still side his chosen jews and i like them.

  7. May God Bless Israel,

  8. God bless Israel and God’s people. I have a brother-in-law here in North Carolina named Charlie Chastain.

  9. Praise God for Israel

  10. =
    Liberty entails responsibility, communal-awareness, blood, sweat and tears; not complacency, wishful-thinking or egotism. Sustaining liberty obligates free people to assume the cost, risks and sacrifice of self-reliance, including forty years in the desert and the defiance of great powers, lest they forfeit liberty and risk oblivion.
    Yoram Ettinger
    Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2013
    March 31, 2013

    Photo
    Main Reading Room. Portrait statue of Moses along the balustrade. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.]
    Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. USA
    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/pnp/highsm/02100/02120v.jpg

  11. Al Goltzman says:

    An interesting commentary on Passover

  12. Anthony Kent says:

    Bubela. Keep taking the tablets.

  13. Kjeld Hesselmann says:

    There has always been and there will always be a band, stronger than mere interests in mundane matter, connecting the USA and Israel. The article highlights some of the more fundamentals.

  14. Gary Harper says:

    Anyone who does not see the connection between the Founding Fathers of the US and the Torah has not read anything about our history. This was a new land, where a new covenant could be created under Heaven, and the yokes of kings tossed off forever. The Judeo-Christian roots of the US cannot be ignored or glossed over, no matter how much you try. Unfortunately, we have new Pharaohs in charge here now, who are doing their best to subjugate the last great warrior nation. But they will not be around for long. The histories of Israel and the US are thus inextricably intertwined.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Pro-ISIS Group Says ‘Use Ferguson Flames to Fuel Terror in America’
Latest Indepth Stories
Red Line Obama

“What’s a line between friends?”

West_Bank_&_Gaza_Map_2007_(Settlements)

Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates

Thousands of rabbis pose in front of Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in Brooklyn on Sunday during the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries.

A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.

Arabs create opening for terrorists to walk the security wall between Ramallah and Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The pogroms in Chevron took place eighty five years ago, in 1929; the Holocaust began seventy-five years ago in 1939; the joint attack of Israel’s neighbors against the Jewish State of Israel happened sixty-six years ago… yet, world history of anti-Semitism did not stop there, but continues until today. Yes, the primitive reality of Jews […]

“We don’t just care for the children; we make sure they have the best quality of life.”

“Why do people get complacent with the things they’re told?”

Arab opposition to a Jewish State of any size was made known by word and deed in the form of terror

Operation Moses: First time in history that non-blacks came to Africa to free blacks from oppression

As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”

Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?

R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

More Articles from Yoram Ettinger
About 7 in 10 Americans view Israel favorably – making Israel the only positively viewed Middle East country. But the younger Americans get, the more they like some Arab countries.

The soaring threat of Islamic terrorism to the US mainland, pro-US Arab regimes, Europe, India, Asia, Africa and Australia has reaffirmed Israel’s role as the moral and military outpost of the US in the Middle East. Israel’s strategic role has gained in importance against the backdrop of the US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the […]

Death to Terrorists

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

Battling Arab terrorism is undermined by focusing on symptoms rather than its cause, hate-education.

Sukkot is a universal holiday, inviting all peoples to come on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of Tishrei – an Acadian word for forgiveness and Genesis.

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

Pres. Obama claims there’s no Islam-driven terrorism or radicalism, only “local” cases of terrorism.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/passover-guide-for-the-perplexed-2014/2014/04/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: