In Every Generation

As we approach Pesach this year, we are thinking of a phrase that appears twice in the Passover Haggadah: Bekhol Dor VaDor- In every generation.

We read in the “Ve’hi She’amdah” section of perennial Jewish persecution and resilience – “…Elah she-bekhol dor va’dor omedim aleinu lekhaloteinu, ve’HaKadosh Barukh Hu matzileinu miyyadam.” “In every generation [adversaries] stand against us seeking to destroy us, but the Holy One saves us from their hands.”

This year, many of us are feeling an acute sense of vulnerability as Jews in the world, and the Haggadah reminds us that, sadly, this is not a new experience for our people.

The other time this phrase is used in the Haggadah is when the rabbis discuss the mitzvah to share the story of Passover and the Exodus with the next generation- “bekhol dor vador chayyav adam lir’ot et atzmo ke’ilu hu yatzah miMitzrayim” “In every generation, a Jew is obligated to see oneself as if one came out of Egypt.”

The great Gerer Hassidic master, R’ Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (the S’fas Emes) teaches that the redemption from Egypt changed our collective spirit forever. Because God took us out of Mitzrayim, the Jewish soul knows freedom. No matter how downtrodden and vulnerable we may become in any given generation, we have a place inside that is already free, that already knows what redemption looks like and feels like. This is true of our people and for each individual person as well.

Next week we will sit down to tell the story of Passover—of our people’s oppression and liberation—carrying the grief and trauma of our people in this time. This moment is heavy as we mark the first Pesach since the October 7th massacre, amidst surging antisemitism, the subsequent war in Gaza, so many bereaved families, the empty chairs of the hostages still in captivity, and the fear from a missile attack on Israel by Iran.

As we hold all of these things this Pesach, may we also remember our souls’ knowledge of redemption. May we give voice to a vision of a world redeemed, of peace and security for all people.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a Chag Kasher v’Sameach – a Pesach of meaning and joy.

Rabbi Annie & Rabbi Yosef

Below are several Passover resources, including Torah and music, services times and a link to sell chametz through Shaare Torah. If you are planning to sell it through the synagogue please be sure to do so by Sunday night.

Passover Landing Page