Years ago, while in College, I told a classmate I am Jewish, but he found it difficult to understand what I meant. I also didn't understand how and why it was difficult for him to grasp what I'd just told him, until years later. Apparently, he didn't understand how someone could be Jewish without being a Jew, or Israeli. Though I now could understand why he should feel so, I do have an argument that could also explain my side of things, if our paths would only cross again. Last night, while we celebrated the feast of Passover something quite significant caught my attention. Interestingly, it was a ritual I'd always been part of, almost all of my life, that sheds a light on how much of Judaism has been much of a religion, as it has been much of, and about nationalism, as regards the state of Israel. One of the highlights of the Paschal Night, is where the reason for the night is explained to kids, and where there's no kid, still explained so that it's seared in the minds and memories of every Jew, the reason why a combination of some of the bitterest dishes are eaten on the night of the fourteenth day of the beginning of months (Abib) in the Jewish calendar. The answer to the question(s), were a kid (the youngest at table) to have asked, is the same given today, as have been millennia and several decades back, and I can point to no other method of inculcation, that's stood the test of time, surviving through the ages, in favour of Judaism, Jewry and Jewishness, as a religion and nationality or nationalism as the case may be, and I dare say even amongst Jews who are atheist. This should also explain the reason why a minority Abrahamic religion, in terms of number, despite being the first has continued to wax strong rather than diminish because of the relatively lesser number of its adherents, compared to its counterparts, of Christianity and Islam. Yes, my forefathers weren't by YAHWEH's strong arms, delivered out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, but surely like many "adopted" Jews, I understand that (in the lyrics of Jim Reeves) this "world is not my home", and that not just the world alone, but the challenges inherent within, represent some form of Egypt from where I could hope for a better place, a "land of promise", one flowing with "milk and honey", Canaan! That is the significance of the feast to us who may not have so much of a physical connection with the exodus as the descendants of those who witnessed it. It is a religion, a faith built on the need to never forget, even the law of the Sabbath starts with the word - "REMEMBER". If the Jews hadn't forgotten something they purport to have happened about three millennia ago, how do you expect them to forget about the holocaust for instance? They thereby became one of the very few vanquished able to tell their stories, and history made them victors by implication. There's no doubt that there's power in words, what is even more powerful is the repetition of it. Was it not a German propagandist that said if one repeated a lie several times, it begins to look like the truth, and fact? The feast of Passover and the events surrounding it, can be said (in my estimation and I stand to be corrected) to be the most significant feast and activity, that's helped keep Judaism (and all that's come of it) in perpetuity, even through the darkest of times. Each time we celebrate it (within families as native Jews would because they haven't a temple in Jerusalem yet; or as part of a congregation or assembly, as "adopted" Jews would, because we are not beholding to a temple), in all corners of the world where we find ourselves, we contribute our little flames to the smolder that was bequeathed us by our fathers, not just for posterity sake, but for our children and generations to come, in keeping with the command (Genesis 12 v 14) that instituted the commemoration of the Feast of Passover in the first place. 'kovich PICTURE CREDIT: - THE PASSOVER QUESTION

Published by m'khail madukovich