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April 01, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Purely Commentary

All things are relative. Freedom is relative. Knowledge is relative. Yet
the two are inter-related, just as other factors in life, in a striving for jus-
tice, for humaneness and consideration for our fellow men, become. insepar-
This is the season of acclaim for freedom. Having given birth to the
basic ideas of liberty, Passover is the perennial occasion for an evaluation
of the idea of Freedom and the Equality of Men. It is because of these basic
ideas that the Negroes, in their spirituals, so often turn to Moses and the
Exodus and the Passover of Hebraic origin to express their craving for
equality and an end to oppression. It is because there is this passion for the
highest goals of social justice that the Passover is the great festival from
which mankind borrows the Hebraic spirit of freedom.
But the Passover is not a carnival. It is not a time for firecrackers and
for shallow declarations. Like all other Jewish observances, it is linked with
study. Before turning to the great feast, it is traditional at the Seder cere-
mony to go through an entire Hagadah, to recount the story of the Exodus,
for entire families, for assembled guests at the ushering in of the Passover
to review the history of the time when slavery was rejected, when freedom
was proclaimed, when a great idea was born.
But even among those who have promulgated the great idea, Liberty
does not always sink in too deeply unless it is fully understood and ap-
preciated, unless it is based on knowledge of its implications and a full un-
derstanding of its responsibilities.
That is why Freedom must be linked with Knowledge. That is why
Freedom must be rooted in proper information, in the basic principles based
on human experience.
Passover without an appreciation of its lesson of justice for all—that
of a free world in which even a single slave mars the right to liberty for
the rest of mankind — becomes a mere feast. But at the Seder with its
sumptuous meal the participants wait until the ritual has been read and dis-
cussed and studied—until the universality of libertarianism has sunk in
deeply—before food is served.
The Passover hope and aspiration is for liberty and equality and peace!

2 Important

The leader of the service adds
the following comments when dis-
tributing the matzo after the
matzo. He lefts a matzo, sets it
aside and says:

Two important additions to the Hagadah,
for use during the Sedarim, have been
One, on the right, the creation of the
late Israel Goldberg (Rufus Learsi), is in
tribute to the martyrs who lost their lives
during the Nazi terror.

Another, prepared by the American Jew-
ish Conference on Soviet Jewry, asks for
an addition of a Matzo of Oppression—"that
the Jews of the Soviet Union may know
that they have not been forgotten—with
the following to be read at each Seder:

This is the Matzo
of oppression

We set aside this "lechem ani"—
this matzo of oppression—to remem-
ber the 3 million Jews of the Soviet
Union. Most of them cannot have
matzo tonight. Conceive of Passover
without matzo—without that visible
reminder of our flight from slavery.
Think of Soviet Jews! They cannot
learn of their Jewish past and hand
it down to their children. They cannot
learn the languages of their fathers
and hand them down to their children.
They cannot teach their children to
be their teachers, their rabbis.
They can only sit in silence and
become invisible. We shall be their
voice, and our voices shall be joined
by thousands of men of conscience
aroused by the injustice imposed on
Soviet Jews. Then shall they know
that they have not been forgotten, and
they that sit in darkness shall yet see
a great light.


_Frifinv_ Anril L 1966

By Philip

An Important Passover Lesson :
Freedom Must Be Rooted in Knowledge

And peace is attainable only when the craving for freedom is linked with
knowledge. There is an old Hebrew saying: "Talmidei hahamim marbim
shalom ba-olam"—"scholars increase the peace of the world." It is when
scholarship is genuine, when the craving for justice stems from study
therefore emanating from knowledge—that there can be security for man-
kind and an assurance of the coming of a day when all men shall be free.
But there are so many obstructionists, there often merge people who
propagate slavery in order to attain their own gains while suppressing the
rights of others. It was not so long ago—in our own lifetime—that one of
the cruellest of known rulers over a large nation, Adolf Hitler, writing in
"Mein Kampf," laid down a rule of race supremacy and of the suppression
of personal freedoms. He had written: "The right to personal freedom comef,,, -
second in importance to the duty of maintaining the race." This is the yen,"
negation of human rights. If the Germans had a basic knowledge of tru ce
liberty and of the just rights of men they would have rejected him
promptly for having offered them such a credo. Abraham Lincoln, in a letter
in 1859 to H. L. Pierce presented the human rule when he declared:
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and,
under a just God, cannot long retain it."
This is the American idea. This is the Hebraic principle. And because in
every generation there arises a bigot who would destroy this ideal, there is
need to defend it, to protect it. And its protection can come only when the
people is well informed, when there is knowledge to fortify the aspiration
for liberty and equality and justice.
We are not immune from the ignorant. We have them in too great an
abundance in our own ranks. Therefore, as we are about to welcome the
Passover, as we are to go to our Seder tables, we must again resolve not to
permit a lack of knowledge about ourselves, our neighbors, our history and
the basic teachings of our sages, to mar our strivings for liberty, to interfere
with aspirations for justice for all. Without knowledge we are enslaved, with
it we have a good chance to bring contentment to our society, the joy of our
rootedness in the natural idealism of liberty, bringing us closer to an era of
peace for all mankind.


Seder Ritual of Ratiambratice



Perform this Ritual
after the THIRD of the Four Ceremonial Cups,
just before the door is opened '
for the symbolic entrance of the Prophet Elijah.

English rendition of the Hebrew:

On this night of the Seder we remember with reverence and love the
six millions of our people of the European exile who perished at the
hands of a tyrant more wicked than the Pharaoh who enslaved out
fathers in Egypt. Come, said he to his minions, let us cut them off fronl
being a people, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.
And they slew the blameless and pure, men and women and little ones,
with vapors of poison and burned them with fire. But we abstain from
dwelling on the deeds of the evil ones lest we defame the image of Gott

All rise,
and the leader of the Seder recites the following:

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in which man was created.

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Now, the remnants of our people who were left in the ghettos and
camps of annihilation rose up against the wicked ones for the sanctificit•
tion of the Name, and slew many of them before they died. On the first
day of Passover the remnants in the Ghetto of Warsaw rose up against

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the adversary, even as in the days of Judah the Maccabee. They were
lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not
divided, and they brought redemption to the name of Israel through

all the world.

'end from the depths of their affliction the martyrs lifted their voices
.n a song of faith in the coming of the Messiah, when justice and

brotherhood will reign among men.

All sing ANI MAAMIN ("I Believe"),
the song of the martyrs in the ghettos and liquidation camps:

All sing ANI MAAMIN ("I Believe"),
the song of the martyrs in the ghettos and liquidation camps:

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'4kt, ra, 93 017 ,717?.7,1P.T.ti?'P 9 32 W1

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah:
And though he tarry, none the less do I believe!


("I Believe")

a v labil-e

A-ni ma-a-min be-e-mu-no sh'le-mo

B'vi-as ha-mo-shi-ah, v'af al pi

Ghe-yis-ma-mey-ha, im kol ze a-ni ma-amin.


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