Jewish Canadians say Passover will be solemn this year

Jewish Canadians say Passover will be solemn this year
Jewish Canadians say Passover will be solemn this year

The main Jewish festival, which lasts seven or eight days each year, commemorates the biblical episode which relates the exodus of the Israelites, led by Moses, to free themselves from slavery in Egypt.

Eddie Paul, who works at Montreal’s 110-year-old Jewish Public Library, expects heightened emotions among many Jews.

“There are a series of subcultures within Judaism, Jews are obviously not a homogenous group, and we live in very polarized times,” he stressed.

He added that current circumstances could result in a range of different experiences this year. “One of the characteristics of Passover is that it allows different stories to overlap with the traditional story.”

The Hebrew word for Egypt means “narrow strait.” Celebrating Easter is a way out of this narrow confines, Mr. Paul believes.

“What happened at the time of the exodus goes way too far back in people’s memories. So they’re going to come to grips with the reality that concerns them, and that’s especially important now, because polarization has really entrenched people in their perspectives. The whole idea of ​​Passover is to listen, to be receptive and to step out of that narrow space.”

For their part, the Advisory Center for Jewish and Israeli Relations and the organization Independent Jewish Voices Canada say that Passover, which begins this year on Monday the 22nd at sunset, will be significantly different this year due to the continuing violence in Gaza .

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Shimon Koffler Fogel, president of the organization, believes many families will leave seats empty around their Seder table on Monday, but replace the guests with photos of Israeli hostages who were kidnapped or killed by Hamas.

Mr. Koffler Fogel says Jews across the country will mark the occasion with some fear, considering the increase in anti-Semitic acts committed around synagogues and schools in Canada.

“The Jews are really suffering. We are not only worried, we are not only distressed by what is happening in the Middle East, we are also suffering because of the ugliness and toxic manifestations of anti-Semitism across the country for six months now.

Willa Holt, a spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices Canada, said Passover reminds Jews of the persecution they faced, a sentiment that echoes the current need for liberation of non-Jews experiencing crisis. humanitarian in the Gaza Strip.

“We view Passover as a message for all to be freed from oppression. And that includes, in particular, the Palestinians. Many families who take the time to commemorate this holiday attempt to do so in a justice-oriented way, rather than focusing on the uniqueness of the Jewish people alone free from oppression.”

With information from the Associated Press

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