V'hi Sheomdo

Torah Message from Rabbi Moldovan

One of the most enjoyable moments of the Pesach Seder is when we all raise our goblets of wine and joyfully sing the tune beginning with "v'hi sheomdo". It is one of the many moments of the Seder where we all feel a level of participation and belonging to the Seder. It is one of those parts of the Seder that evoke warm and fuzzy memories throughout our lives. But have we ever investigated the lyrics that we are joyfully singing? We sing that in every generation there are adversaries who try to wipe us out and that Hashem protects us. Granted that we are happy with the salvation that Hashem provides us, but is this really something to sing about? With all the positive intervention of Hashem, there are still multitudes of our brethren that have ultimately succumbed to the hands of this endless stream of adversaries. Why are we singing? The explanation is that as much as we decry the barbarism, inequality, violence, and oppression of anti-semitism, at the same time we can appreciate that this irrational ideology ingrains our Jewish identity on our minds and hearts. Sometimes we may forget we are Jews, either intentionally to have a good time, or under a certain level of duress to maintain our social or financial position. Living in a non-Jewish society it is infinitely simpler to assimilate and be like everyone around us. When this occurs, we don't have to wait long till we are reminded that we are Jewish. We don't wish for anti-semitism, but at the same time we appreciate what it has done and will do for the continuity of the Jewish identity. This is worthy of a song.

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