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Passover 5784

Shalom Hevre (Friends),

Each year, we celebrate the holiday of Pesah (Passover) as a community, talking about and thinking about how our ancestors were held captive in Egypt and, through God, were freed from their bondage. Each year, I always think about the line in the Haggadah (the book that guides us through our Passover seder), “In every generation, it is incumbent for each person to see himself (or herself) as if he (or she) personally came out of Egypt.” And each year, I think about myself—and encourage others to think about themselves—about what is holding us back, where we feel spiritually imprisoned, what freedom would look like, and to have hope that God can free us.

This year, however, feels different. At the time I’m writing this (God willing, by the time you see this, it will be outdated), 134 of our brothers and sisters are literally held captive. There is a rise of antisemitism we haven’t seen since the Holocaust almost 80 years ago. Jewish students on college campuses are feeling threatened. As a people, there is an anxiety few of us have endured in our lifetimes. It is not difficult for us to think about those who are held captive or where we feel spiritually imprisoned.

But the ultimate message of Pesah is that even in the darkest of our times, in the deepest troubles we experience, hope exists for a better future. Just as our ancestors were brought from slavery to freedom, we hope for a time when we spiritually, and our brothers and sisters literally, will be led from captivity to freedom.

Below is information to help you prepare for the holiday, including the Rabbinical Assembly’s Pesah Guide for this year, a form which gives me permission to sell your hametz (leavened bread products) on your behalf, and a schedule of our services and candle lighting times. As always, if you have questions, need additional resources, or are unsure about anything, please don’t hesitate to call or email me. I hope all this information helps you have a meaningful holiday, which will help lead all of us, together, to the freedom we seek.


Hag Pesah Sameah, wishing all of you a Happy Passover,

Rabbi Steven Henkin


Join us at the Levite Jewish Community Center 

Sun, July 14 2024 8 Tammuz 5784