Op-Ed: Go Ahead and Debate the Middle East at Your Passover Seder
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, published an op-ed today in the Washington Post titled “Go ahead and debate the Middle East at your Passover Seder.” He writes,
Millions of people around the world — including President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — will host Passover Seders on Friday and Saturday. But, as we ask traditionally in Hebrew on this holiday, “Mah nishtanah?”: Why will this year’s Seder be different from all others?
This year, we need our Seder ritual more than ever. This holiday season, far too many Jews are feeling disheartened and divided from their faith, their people and their homeland. But now isn’t the time to turn away from fundamental questions about the world around us — the Seder actually requires engaging with them. And this year, there’s no shortage of such questions.
Will an agreement with Iran bring security or increased danger to Israel, the Middle East and the rest of the world? Will ongoing political divisions — between Israel and the United States, Democrats and Republicans, Labor and Likud, AIPAC and J Street — signal an unraveling of the Jewish people? Will Israel turn from building more settlements to building the infrastructure for the peace she so desperately needs? Will the plagues of violence and war ever cease in favor of two states for two peoples, living side by side in security and peace? Will recent murderous attacks on Jews in a French kosher market and a Danish synagogue convince the world that antisemitic threats are real and deadly?