Dear Hashomer Hatzair Community,
As we prepare to sit down and celebrate Passover with our families, I wanted to take one minute and take it all in. Passover to me marks one of our amazing origin stories, a story of freedom and liberty. A story that has been passed from generation to generation.
Berl Katzanelson said it best:
A nation has, for thousands of years, been commemorating the day of its exodus from the house of bondage. Throughout all the pain of enslavement and despotism, of inquisition, forced conversion, and massacre, the Jewish people has carried in its heart the yearning for freedom and has given this craving a folk expression which includes every soul in Israel, every single downtrodden, pauperized soul! . . . I know no literary creation which can evoke a greater hatred of slavery and love of freedom than the story of the bondage and the exodus from Egypt. I know of no other remembrance of the past that is so entirely a symbol of our present and future as the “memory of the exodus from Egypt.” - Berl Katzanelson.
As a community and a people committed to Tikkun Olam, I'm certain that many of us are deeply concerned about the current state of affairs in Israel and the world. It may feel like we are entering into a period of darkness. For me, this feeling is somewhat constant - even when things are going well, there is always a lingering sense of doubt. And when things start to go wrong, that doubt quickly turns to "I told you so."
But during moments of doubt like this, I find meaning in the words of A.D. Gordon:
“There will not be a victory of light over darkness as long as we do not recognize the simple truth, that instead of fighting the darkness, we must increase the light.”
― A. D. Gordon
Hashomer Hatzair’s role in the world is to increase the light in this world. As the famous Jewish tale says: “As long as the candle is burning there’s still time to work and repair!”
The candle is still burning and we can still repair.
We repair because it’s in the bases of our souls, we repair because there is no other way! Because we want a better world for our Chanichimot, for our children.
As we gather together for the seder eve we remind ourselves of our past, and through our past we aim to repair the future.
So let us raise a glass to the Hashomer Hatzair. May our commitment to Tikun Olam and the values of social justice continue to inspire and guide young people around the world. May our passion for a just Israel for all its people inspire future generations to engage with their roots and build a better world. And may this Passover be a time of renewal and reflection for all, as we rededicate ourselves to creating a world that is more just, more compassionate, and more connected. Chazak Ve’Ematz, L'chaim!