Just as Bnei Israel were about to leave Egypt, Moshe, their leader, could have sat them down for a session to talk about the atrocities that they went through. He could have also talked to them about the rough journey that lay ahead and how to prepare. However, Moshe didn’t talk about these. Instead, Moshe teaches us a very important lesson. Even before Bnei Israel left Egypt, it says in the Torah that Moshe talked to Bnei Israel about the education of their children. “When your children ask you, what does this ceremony mean to you? Thus you shall say…” (Exodus 12:26) Moshe talks about this subject twice more, immediately after they leave Egypt. Moshe didn’t deal with the past; he didn’t prepare much for the dangers that lurked ahead. Rather, Moshe taught us that in order to be truly free, we must think about the future of our children and put a strong emphasis on the educational element.
Many Olim that I’ve spoken to about the reasons behind their decision to make Aliyah have also put their emphasis on these issues. Thinking about the future generations and the education of those generations are what brought many Olim to come to Israel. They didn’t let the worries of the arduous journey that lay ahead, the march across the wilderness with all its hazards hold them back. Fear of losing their past didn’t hinder their courageous move.
This decision of making Aliya resonates with Pesach so strongly. Pesach is a holiday in which we focus on educating the future generation and tell the story of the exodus of our nation. The target crowd in the Haggadah is the kids, is the next generation. They are the focus. In Leil Haseder we tell and not only remember. We take an active part in the story, and we add to it our own interpretation, our own chapter. I believe that the Sages invitation for every person to see as if he/she personally came out of Egypt can also include your telling of your story of Aliya, your own private exodus. I hope you’ll talk about the long way you went through to get to the promised land and how you take an active role in making this country and society prosperous and free. There are many ups and downs during the journey and as it says in the Haggadah מצווה עלינו לספר… it’s your duty to tell the story, to tell your story to the next generation וכל המרבה הרי זה משובח.
On this opportunity, I’d like to salute you for making this decision to live here.
May you have a Pesach Kasher Ve’sameach, surrounded by family and friends!
With much appreciation,
ZFA’s Israel Office Director