As a child, I used to enjoy the Passover holiday very much. I particularly loved the seder itself, which we held every year on the kibbutz. The texts included in the kibbutz Haggadah and the accompanying songs composed by Yehuda Sharett were pleasant and filled with joy about the coming of spring. The tiresome interpretations of scripture were deleted from the text.
Of course, I participated in quite a few seders in which portions of the Haggadah were skipped until the song "Ehad Mi Yodea?" ("Who Knows One?" ) was reached, but it wasn't until this latest Passover that I had the opportunity to participate in a traditional Seder, including a complete and accurate reading of every letter and every note, along with the interpretations of the person conducting the Seder - a secular man who, it turned out, was a yeshiva graduate.
Everyone is obliged to tell his children the story of the exodus from Egypt, the man leading the seder told his grandchildren, who were seated around the table.
He then proceeded to read the traditional text, parts of which sounded completely obscure even to the adults at the table; there's no chance that a child would comprehend them, but this is actually for the best because we are dealing with a clearly noneducational text.
I wouldn't like to justify to my children the subject of the plague, in which the firstborn were killed; nor the idea that "had He taken us out of Egypt and not lynched them, we would have been satisfied." What was the purpose of God's whole campaign of revenge, death and destruction? "Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge You," arouses revulsion in me.
And the plague gives rise to the question: Who are the best Jews according to the spirit of the text? The ultra-Orthodox, who do not serve in the army and leave the dirty work of pouring wrath on the nations in the hands of God; or the new Jewish species, as embodied in the arrogant image of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the admiring members of his Yisrael Beiteinu faction - who already learned in Russia, as MK Anastassia Michaeli explained, that they must obey their leader?
Who was conceived in the image of God? MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism ) or Yehuda Meshi-Zahav (the founder of ZAKA rescue services ), who pay attention to every minute detail? Or perhaps those who mostly cast doubt on the Judaism of the people they represent, like Lieberman (and MK Fania Kirshenbaum, who is no less terrifying )?
Among Lieberman's supposedly God-like attributes is the fact that those who believe in him are in awe of him; that he manages to escape every investigation unscathed; and that he is no more afraid of his interrogators than he was of that small child he assaulted for insulting his son.
While this is not the place to ask whether God himself has to believe in God, there is no doubt that Lieberman believes in himself. But perhaps the one who best bears the image of the Lord is precisely the Jew of the caliber of MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ) and the settlers (they say only a handful ) - who uproot olive trees, throw stones and go out to exact a "price tag" from the Palestinians?
All of these figures take on the role of God themselves because, after all, it is written in Deuteronomy 32: "To Me belongs vengeance and recompense." That is to say, to God and not to the human beings who adopt His role themselves.
The image of God as it emerges from the Passover Haggadah arouses terror and repugnance, but if in fact revenge had remained solely with God and not with those who have appointed themselves His representatives on earth, if instead of launching campaigns of war, robbery and revenge on our own behalf we would be satisfied simply to shout hurrah three times to the Lord; satisfied with fantasies and leaving the actual fulfillment of revenge in the hands of God and not with us - then perhaps there would be peace here between the nations, and perhaps we could really mean what we say in the Haggadah: "Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem."
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