Torah Thinkers Forum

Incredible story for Pesach

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This past Shabbat, I had the opportunity to speak to the people in shul in the morning after davening and I related to them a fascinating story about Pesach that Rabbi Yisroel Reisman had told last year.

The story took place in 1990, when the Soviet Union was still under communist rule. Most Jews were kept by force from leaving the country, but here and there a few Jews managed to either escape, or somehow get a visa. One family, made up of an 80 year grandfather, his son and daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, were among the lucky few Jews who made their way out of the Soviet Union. The grandfather had learned in a Cheder, 70 years before, and still remembered some of the Jewish studies he had been taught, but the rest of the family had no knowledge of Jewish laws or customs.

The family made their way to Flatbush, Brooklyn, and moved into an apartment on a block near Rabbi Reisman. When Rabbi Reisman heard about his new neighbors, he invited the family to join his family for the Pesach Seder that was taking place that week. At the Seder, Rabbi Reisman"s family sat together with the Russian family, and as the Seder was about to begin, the Russian grandfather raised his hand and said he had something to say that no one else in the world knew, and of course he was given permission to speak.

The old man told them that thousands of years ago the Jews were slaves in Egypt, that Hashem had freed them with wondrous events, that they reached the Red Sea where Moshe raised his hand to split the sea, and that the Jews were saved as they went through the dry land but that the Egyptians who were chasing them drowned as the sea returned to its normal course. It turned out that all the grandfather's classmates of 70 years ago had passed away, and since no one since had ever talked about Jewish history with him, the old man thought that he must be the last person on Earth who knew the story!

Just think what this man had stored away in his heart during those 70 years! He knew that he had valuable information that he must impart to his children and grandchildren, and he wanted to be sure that he was a link in the chain that passed on the tradition of our forefathers to his progeny.

That is the essence of our celebration of Pesach and especially the Seder. We each must feel that we have important news that we need to impart to our family to make sure that the connection between ourselves and our glorious past continues to be known and passed on to the next generation.

 

May we all have a wonderful Pesach, and may we all celebrate together soon, as it was meant to be, in a rebuilt Beit Hamikdask in Jerusalem!  

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COM_EASYBLOG_GUEST Friday, 16 November 2018
Last updated on: 11/16/2018
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