One of the Holocaust’s most enduring images, of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which occurred 70 years ago today. Source: Wikipedia

Tonight at 6:54 p.m. begins the first night of the eight day Jewish holiday of Passover. There is no doubt that many of us, this time of year, have sat around a seder table with our loved ones — whether they are our family members or closest friends — and helped to retell the story of the enslaved Israelites’ exodus from ancient Egypt, whose Hebrew name, Mitzrayim, refers to a narrow, constricted place. Indeed, for the Hebrew slaves forced to build pyramids for the Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses, Egypt was a burdensome land of constriction.

Armed with our time-honored Maxwell House Passover Hagaddah, even the most secular of Jews has taken turns re-living the biblical story of Exodus. While we are commanded to never forget the story of how a reluctant, speech-impaired Moses led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness to the Promised Land (though Moses himself was not permitted to enter), many of us can relate to the tale’s more universal, contemporary themes of enslavement.

How many of us are slaves to our jobs, our computers, or our smart phones, or are obsequious to deadlines, manipulative relationships, or even — don’t laugh — food? Personally, I am subservient to a gigantic Katz’s pastrami sandwich, though for the next eight days I would have to eat it on boards of intestinal-blocking matzoh, instead of bread, verboten foodstuff during this eight-day festival. There is a reason why matzoh is called the “Bread of Affliction.” Oy.

For those of you who feel enslaved to anything at all in your lives… whether it is the twinkling eyes and irresistible smile of the cheating boyfriend / girlfriend you think you can’t live without; a huge, honkin’ slab of Junior’s cheesecake, or compulsively checking to see who just left you a comment on Facebook…

Stop.

Now is the time to slow down (unless of course you have some angry Egyptians on fiery chariots chasing after you), take personal inventory, and just ‘Be.’ I’m not saying shut off your phones and step away from the computer — though, yes, if you are religious, you might want to do those things — but, stop, and reflect upon your freedom. Relish it.

Freedom is something many of us tend to take for granted here in the United States, since a lot of us have not experienced what it’s like to not have it. So that’s your assignment this Passover: Ponder the meaning of freedom (I’m talking to you, Mayor “Taker Awayer Of Things” Bloomberg!) And while the more religious among you give thanks to Hashem, all of us, throughout the year, should thank the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, and who defend our nation so that we never have to know what it is like to live without freedom.

Tonight also marks the 70th anniversary of the brave uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto:

“…the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, inspired by the Passover story, rose up against the Nazis and demonstrated that a struggling community of half-starved Jews had the power to hold out longer than countries like Poland and France against the Nazis oppressors.”

“Thus, in honor of the brave Jewish resistance fighters, a passage was written for Jews around the world to read during their Seders: ‘On this night of the Passover Seder, when G-d redeemed the Jewish people from slavery and oppression in Egypt, we recall that night, 70 years ago, the first night of Passover 1943, when the Germans assaulted the Warsaw Ghetto. On that Seder night the remnants of the Ghetto, the remnants of the Jews of Warsaw, the remnants of the 1,000 year old Polish-Jewish community rose up against evil and the enemy. Imbued with the call of Moses, they too declared, ‘Let my people go!’’

May their brave sacrifices and struggles for enduring freedom never be forgotten.

To all who observe, and to all who cherish freedom: Chag kasher v’sameach, a Kosher and joyful holiday, and a zisen Pesach, a sweet Passover.

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  • Anonymous

    Bible not counting (since it’s full of shit) is there any evidence that Jews actually wandered around egypt for years after escaping from slavery?

    • MrArtTuro

      What a classy sounding fella. Yeah, I gotz yur evidence rite here, ya see?

    • RubixTime

      No, there isn’t any real evidence of that or even of Jews being slaves in Egypt in the first place. Furthermore, no evidence Abraham, Moses, King David and many other biblical ‘patriarchs’ ever even existed.

      From the post –

      “Armed with our time-honored Maxwell House Passover Hagaddah, even the
      most secular of Jews has taken turns re-living the biblical story of
      Exodus.”

      Being Jewish is nothing more than a religion, so there is no such thing as ‘secular Jews’

      • Anonymous

        Thank you. Jews aren’t a race, just a religion.

  • Andrew Kent

    What the Bible doesn’t tell us is that, after wandering in the desert for forty years, they arrived in the land of Canaan only to learn that their luggage was in Mesopotamia. :)

  • Anonymous

    Really? The comment asking for proof that the exodus actually happened gets deleted?

    • ES

      My guess is, disrespecting the beliefs of others by likening to excrement a book holy to at least two of the three Abrahamic religions is what got your comment zapped.

      • RubixTime

        Demanding proof is disrespect and gets comments deleted?? SheepsheadBites is now the Soviet Union Times.

        • ES

          It’s like you didn’t even read what I wrote. SMH.

          • RubixTime

            I read your comment. He never likened to excrement any holy book.

          • RubixTime

            By the way, I’m done talking to you so don’t bother responding. Any response you make after this point will be totally ignored by me.

          • ES

            Oh. How will I ever get over this heartbreak? I’ll be over at the end of the bar, weeping into my beer.

    • RubixTime

      Not just your comment but my comment as well. Not sure if you (or anyone else saw it). I was saying that no, there is no proof of the exodus and other things from the bible aren’t proven either as well as that being Jewish is only a religion.

      Some censorship, huh?

  • Subway Stinker

    One of the first acts of the Nazi government was to disarm the population of their personally owned firearms. I know what you are thinking…that could never happen here in the USA. You are likely correct, but I am sure the people who elected Hitler the chancellor of Germany never thought it could happen in that country either. Now if only the Jews of Warsaw had guns brought to them by the Polish national resistence, or airdropped by FDR and Churchhill. Anyways, Happy Passover and Easter this week to all freedom loving peoples.

    • guest

      Why couldn’t it happen here? The people are too smart? Of course it could happen here. People at this point want to be controlled by the government, they are asking it. If Mr. Obama disbanded Congress and the Court, and took control of the military and announced it was to help the people, I think he’d get about 2 out of 5 people in his favor, and that’s quite enough.

  • nolastname

    It’s an open thread so I would like to thank B & R Electronics for their professionalism. My Mac hard drive was shot. I brought it in for a look see.
    Now, I am no way computer smart, I’m computer dumb.
    They reinstalled the discs to make the computer like out of the factory…..
    Well I screwed that up while updating and had to bring it back.
    With no charge as a courtesy (Dumb people get breaks) It was reloaded and AGAIN explained what I needed to do. This time I did it!
    Thanks to B & R.

    • guest

      where’s b&r electronics

      • nolastname

        East 27th Street off Ave Z. They actually had an ad in the past Bay News. Really nice understanding and easy to work with. Heck, they delt with me and came out smelling like roses!

  • M. Smart

    Why would any group want to take over a country so deeply in debt?

  • Sofie

    In scandinavia people think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking, kind of scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass.

  • emma

    The northern europeans think jews have a very strange face, especially the nose is very bad-looking, kind of scythe-like they say, . They call it ” Ful nasa”. the word “ful” is pronounced like the english word “fuel”. i kind of feel sorry for them, but maybe its the testosterone.. i´ve heard it increases the tissues inside the nose, especially bone mass..

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