I would like to end the Seder with a lesson. We have had a fun journey. Hopefully lots of laughs. But I will end by talking about one of my favorite historical figures of all time. Abba Kovner.
I am 90% sure this guy was the inspiration for Magneto in the X-men.
Abba Kovner was one of the lucky Jews who managed to escape Nazi-occupied Vilnus before being sent off to a concentration camp. But he refused to stand idly by the blood of his brothers and sisters so he founded a group called HaNokim (The Avengers). They would hide in the woods of Vilnus and attack passing Nazi soldiers.
After the war he founded a secret society called Nakam (revenge). The original intent was to poison the water supply of Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt in an attempt to kill six million Germans. They were stopped and they moved on to Plan B which was to kill SS prisoners in POW camps. They were interrupted while poisoning loaves of bread to be sent to the prison camps. 207 prisoners fell ill but no deaths were reported.
To me the coolest part about Abba Kovner is what happened after Nakam disbanded. He went from being a violent man full of rage hellbent on killing people to a creative man hellbent on preventing atrocities of that nature to ever happen again. By putting pen to paper he channeled his rage into something powerful and meaningful. So I would like to end this Haggadah on one of my favorite poems of his:
One Living Word
No more willful silences.
No more verbal contact,
he who loved to listen to so many
will never again hear his own voice among them.
He will sit with his friends over talk
from now on under constraint.
The talk. The thoughts. The friends.
And as he listens through
the secret door
he will turn his inner ear
to the dark mumur: Son of man,
and all this
and never will be
as good as
one living word.
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