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Passover

Four More Sons, Four More Questions

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Freedom is the central theme of the Passover seder. It echoes and re-echoes throughout the Haggadah. On this Passover, Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are not free. They remain captive, their fates unknown. Our hearts ache for them and for their families, and on their behalf we add four additional questions to our Seder tonight.

  • Why are these sons different from all other sons?
    These four sons were taken prisoner while bravely fighting for the safety and security of Israel and her People.
  • Why are these prisoners different from other prisoners?
    These prisoners have been wantonly denied all human rights which are guaranteed under international law. They have been treated not as prisoners of war, but rather as hostages. They have been allowed no access whatsoever to their families, their country, nor any human rights groups.
  • Why are these hostages different from other hostages?
    These hostages continue to be held even though all other Western hostages being held in Lebanon were freed years ago. We have no knowledge of the conditions under which they are held. In truth, we do not know whether they are still alive.
  • Why do we raise the issue of these Israeli soldiers who are "missing-in-action" on Passover?
    Of all the Jewish holidays, Passover is the one that truly represents freedom. If there is even one Jew who is being denied freedom, we must all raise our voices on her behalf.

Just as we have done throughout our history, so too, today we must come to the aid of fellow Jews. We dedicate this Seder to Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. We will continue to work toward their release from captivity, and, if our voices are strong enough, perhaps next year we will not have to repeat these extra four questions.

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