Passover was always my favorite holiday. Even though it was a lot of work, the end of the process of cleaning out the Chametz and replacing the year‐round dishes with the Passover set made everything new and fresh. I loved the Seder. It was not only the food or the chance to show off what I had learned in Hebrew school that made Passover so special. It was the thought that I, a kid from Queens, was so somehow doing what my ancestors did in ancient Egypt when they gathered around their tables on that first Passover. We Jews have been conducting Passover Seders every year for approximately the last 3500 years. Not only is that a long time but it probably makes the Seder the oldest continuously performed ritual in the world. We should perhaps try to picture Passover Seders in ancient Israel, in the time of the Romans and Greeks, in the period of knights in armor or the shtetls of Europe. We carry on these same traditions. The Passover message has been understood through the centuries in ways which addressed the needs of the time. Our present epoch is one in which life is centered on our own desire to achieve happiness and self‐fulfillment, and in which finding it depends on our own choices. Making the making the right choices is often too confusing and difficult therefore, I see many people, especially young people living in a state of aimlessness and purposelessness. Passover in our period of history teaches us the truism that the best way to achieve happiness and fulfillment is to be involved with a cause larger and more profound than our own individual happiness. When we stop thinking about ourselves and engage with the world we have the best chance of achieving a fulfilled and happy life. The message of the liberation of from Egypt and the Passover Seder tells that that we are links in the chain of Jewish tradition and that our continuing this tradition one more generation is an important achievement and can give our life the sense of purpose and meaning that we seek.
A wonderful Passover to all,
Rabbi Gerald Sussman