[Freemanlist2] Yoram Ettinge - PASSSOVER REFLECTIONS 2007 (Based onwritings by Jewish sages)

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============= 
As we approach Passover, we think of freedom from Egyptian bondage. Today
the Israeli and Jewish People are in a new kind of bondage. It is a mental
bondage, where the media and the Jewish leadership have conspired to keep
the truth hidden from us. Very grave dangers are facing us both external and
internal. We need a constant source of the truth to strengthen us to face
those challenges.
 
The Freeman Center has been that unrelenting source of knowledge and truth
for over 15 years. This Passover, why not make a special donation to show
your support for our important educational work.

 

 

PASSSOVER REFLECTIONS 2007

by Yoram Ettinger

(Based on writings by Jewish sages) 


1.  PHARAOH fathered the first attempt of "The Final Solution" -
extermination of Jews - succeeded by Haman of Iran, Hitler and currently by
Ahminajad.  


2.  MEMORY/ROOTS, EDUCATION, FAITH, DEFIANCE OF ODDS and LIBERTY are the
intertwined fundamentals of Passover. The first three constitute
prerequisites for the latter. The Hebrew word for "memory" is ZIKARON, which
is composed of two Hebrew words: ZAKH (pure) and RON (hymn). The Hebrew word
for "education" is KHINOUKH, whose root is "to inaugurate." The Hebrew word
for "faith" is EMUNAH, whose root is AMEN. The Hebrew word for "liberty" is
KHERUT, spelled identically to the word KHARUT, "carved."  In other words,
liberty is a G-d given eternal right, carved in stone, independent of human
rulers, nurtured by education, never to be taken for granted.  A nation
which commemorates enslavement and deliverance of 3,600 years ago is
destined for a glorious future, while a nation which turns its back on
history dooms its future.  


 

3.  DAVID BEN-GURION, first Prime Minister of Israel (UN Commission, 1947)
highlighted Passover's focus on the LAND OF ISRAEL and MEMORY:  "300 years
ago, the Mayflower launched its historical voyage. How many remember the
data of the voyage, how many passengers were on the Mayflower and what kind
of bread did they consume?  However, 3,300 years earlier, the Exodus from
Egypt took place. Every Jew knows the date of the Exodus - 15th of the month
of Nissan - and the kind of bread - Matza, leaven bread - consumed.  Until
today, Jews all over the world, tell the story of the Exodus and eat Matza
on the 15th of Nissan.  They conclude the story of the Exodus [HAGADAH] with
the statement: This year we're slaves, but next year we shall be liberated;
this year we're here, but next year in Jerusalem."

As documented by the chronicles of Passover, the Exodus set the Jewish
Nation on the Road Map to a specific site (and not just to liberation), the
Land of Israel. 


 

4.  PASSOVER = ROLE MODEL OF NATIONAL LIBERATION. 

Passover - just like monotheism, the Sabbath, Ten Commandments,
repentance/Yom Kippur - constitutes a Jewish gift to humanity. Passover has
been a global inspiration to LIBERTY and to national liberation (Let My
People Go), 600-700 ahead of Greek philosophers, some of whom caused
confusion between Liberty with permissiveness.  Jews have been targeted by
enemies of LIBERTY (from Pharaoh, Nazism, Communism to Arab/Islamic
terrorism and Ahminajad), because Jews have been rightly perceived as the
originators of LIBERTY. 


 

5.  PASSOVER & THE FOUNDATION OF THE UNITES STATES.  

The Exodus inspired the Puritans, the Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers, who
considered themselves "the modern day Israelites", King George III "the
modern day Pharaoh", the Atlantic "the modern day Red Sea" and America "the
modern day Promised Land". Jefferson, Adams and Franklin considered a
proposal for the great seal featuring The Exodus with the inscription:
"Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to G-D." The term FEDERALISM is based on
"Foedus", the Latin word for "The Covenant." The puritans and the Founding
Fathers considered themselves to be "the Modern Day People of the Covenant."
John Locke, Roger Williams, Thomas Paine and Simon Howard considered the
Laws of Moses and the structure of the 12 Tribes, sustaining
semi-independence, governed by Moses, Aharon, Joshua and the 70 person
Legislature, a model for the American political system in general and for
"Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness" in particular.  


 

6.  MOSES, the hero of Passover, has become a role model of leadership and
national liberation.  The Mosaic legacy has greatly impacted US democracy,
hence his marble replica at the House Chamber on Capitol Hill, at the
Rayburn House Office Building's subway station and at the Supreme Court
(holding the Ten Commandments).  Moses' name is mentioned only once in the
Passover HAGADAH, as a servant of G-d, a testimony to Moses' humility (his
grave site is purposely unknown).  The only compliment accorded to Moses in
the Torah is "the humblest of all human beings".  


7.  PASSOVER = WAR OF CIVILIZATIONS.  Moses' victory over Pharaoh reflected
the victory of HUMILITY over hubris, Truth over lies, CONVICTION/MORALITY
over convenience/immorality, SOLIDARITY/COMPASSION over
selfishness/cynicism, CONTRIBUTION over abuse, REALISM over
wishful-thinking, CONSTITUENT over ruler and LIBERTY OVER TYRANNY. The term
Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) referred to the

sacrificial lamb, which spared the Jews the 10th plague (death of the elder
son), by Passing-Over their homes. Judaism introduced the immorality of
human sacrifices. The Hebrew words for Sacrifice are KORBAN (to get closer),
OLA (to elevate), MINCHA (to be guided, to relax) and SHLAMIM
(wholesomeness).

 

8.  THE EXODUS is mentioned 50 times in the Torah, equal to the 50 years of
Jubilee, another historical pivot of LIBERTY ("Proclaim liberty throughout
the land to all the inhabitants thereof", Leviticus, 25, 10, inscribed on
the LIBERTY BELL).  50 days following the Exodus, Moses received the Torah,
which includes - according to Jewish tradition - 50 Gates of Wisdom.  The
commemoration of the Exodus (Passover) is one of the 613 Jewish/Mosaic laws.
Passover features a few times in each daily prayer, during the welcoming of
the Sabbath, during the blessing over wine, on holidays, upon circumcision
of sons, at the door step (Mezuzah) of Jewish homes, etc. 

According to Henry George, a top 19th century economist, who opposed
taxation but on land, a student of the Torah and the author of "Moses, The
Law Giver", the Jubilee was Moses' way of combating monopoly.  


 

9.  THE FIRST JEWISH HOLIDAY.  Passover has four names: Holiday of Pesach
(the sacrifice), Holiday of Liberty, Holiday of Matza and Holiday of Spring.
It is the FIRST Jewish holiday, according to the Jewish calendar, which
starts in the spring (AVIV in Hebrew, which consists of two words: Father of
12 months), the first stage of natural and national blossoming.  Passover -
which commemorates the CREATION of the Jewish nation through the 13th
century BC Exodus - lasts for 7 days, just like the CREATION of the
universe. Passover is the FIRST Jewish pilgrimage and the basis for the
other two annual pilgrimages.  Thus, the first stop of the Exodus was at
Soukkota (Soukkot/Tabernacles is the 3rd pilgrimage), and Passover is the
prelude to the receipt of the Torah/Ten Commandments (Shavouot/Pentecost the
2nd pilgrimage). 


10.  HAGADAH.  Passover is launched with the reading of the Hagadah, which
documents Jewish history.  The Hagadah (based on the Hebrew verb "to tell")
instructs parents to tell their children the story of The Exodus and its
implications, thus enhancing MEMORY, a prerequisite to LIBERTY.  


11.  PASSOVER = OPTIMISM. Passover is celebrated on the 15th day (full moon)
of the Jewish month of Nissan, the month of miracles (Nissim in Hebrew -
Exodus, Parting of the Sea, manna, Jacob battling the Angel, Abraham victory
over the 4 kings, etc.). Nissan ("bud" in Babylon) launches the spring
season, a symbol of optimism, freedom and growth, which follows the
relatively somber winter  Winter is compared to a strait, which restrains
the flow of water, but once the strait is over, the water bursts forward in
a much more powerful manner (Egypt is MITZRAYIM in Hebrew, a derivative of
METZAR, strait in Hebrew). The term spring is mentioned 3 times in the
Torah, all in reference to The Exodus.       


12.  THE TEN PLAGUES aimed at destroying Egyptian spirit, by exposing the
vulnerability of their idols.  Thus, the plague of blood targeted the idol
of the Nile River, the plague of frogs shattered the myth of the idol of
fertility (which had a head of a frog), the plague of darkness obliterated
the idol of the sun, the plague of the elder sons crashed the supreme idol -
the king (son of god), etc.  


 

13.  PASSOVER = VICTORY OF JEWISH DEMOGRAPHY.  According to Jewish
tradition, Jacob arrived to Egypt with 70 Jews and Moses launched the Exodus
with 600,000 Jews (some suggest 600,000 adults or 600,000 males) - quite a
demographic momentum.  The Exodus was the first case of a massive Jewish
Aliya (immigration) to Israel. A Jewish Demographic Momentum has currently
been in motion between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.  While Herzl
launched the Zionist voyage with an 8% Jewish minority west of the Jordan
River in 1900, and Ben-Gurion celebrated the 1947 UN vote with a 33%
minority, today's Jewish State is endowed with a 67% majority over 98.7% of
the land west of the River (without Gaza).  Arab fertility rate has declined
systematically in addition to annual net Arab emigration, while Jewish
fertility rate creeps upward, bolstered by annual immigration (Aliya) since
1882.

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