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Happy Passover

The Reverse Side of the Great Seal (Jefferson’s edit of Franklin’s suggestion)

“Pharaoh sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his head and a Sword in his hand, passing through the divided Waters of the Red Sea in Pursuit of the Israelites: Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Cloud, expressive of the divine Presence and Command, beaming on Moses who stands on the shore and extending his hand over the Sea causes it to overwhelm Pharaoh.” Motto: “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to G-d.” Jews have celebrated Pesach, Passover, the holiday of freedom and liberation, for thousands of years in every corner of the world. Indeed the festival goes back in an unbroken chain to the very first Passover night while still in Egypt, the land of bondage. Living in this blessed and free country it is sometimes hard to fathom that many – perhaps most – of the Passover Seders of history were celebrated by Jews in grim, oppressive circumstances. Yet the Jewish People never lost faith. Today, the Jewish People and the Jewish State thrive, always embattled, often wounded, but flourishing and free, vigorous and unbowed, living testimony to G-d’s presence in the world. In modern times, the world has witnessed that from the depths of the death camps to the glory of reunified Jerusalem the annual transmission of an eternal commitment to Faith and an unyielding aspiration for Freedom is as powerful and alive and inspirational today as it was that very first Passover. Since its founding, America has been a beacon of hope for the world because our country was created by its founders to embody these very values.  The erosion of these values of course, concerns us, but we too, with G-d’s help – remain vigorous and unbowed. We know that good, caring, passionate Americans of all faiths can and must join together and that we will rise to the challenge. As families gather around the Seder table this week in Passover’s timeless, ancient renewal of Jewish Faith and Freedom, we are inspired to rededicate ourselves to America’s greatness. We commit ourselves to pursuing freedom of faith and conscience all around the world. We renew the struggle to liberate ourselves from the bonds with which we shackle our own hearts. And, blessed as we are to live in the epoch of miraculous Jewish return and renewal in the Holy Land, we consecrate ourselves to that profound and eternal commitment and prayer of the Jewish people at the end of every Seder: Next Year – and the year after that, and the year after that, until the end of time – In Jerusalem! Happy Passover 5773 – שמח חג – from the Faith & Freedom Coalition!

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