And this promise to our ancestors is also for us!
Not only once have they risen up to destroy us but in
every generation they rise up to destroy us. And the
Holy One, Blessed be He, saves us from their hands.
 
Rabbi Joshua Hess' exposition:
 
Tonight we recall the innumerable and horrible national tragedies that we have endured. "She-lo Echad Bilvad Amad Aleinu  L'chaloteinu," there hasn't been only one wicked ruler that has attempted to wipe us off the map. Generation after generation another evil tyrant has emerged threatening to destroy us. Fortunately God has saved us from their deathly grips.
 
Yet as we remember the Pharaoh's, Hitler's and Ahmadinejad's, we are also reminded of another invaluable lesson taught  by the great Chasidic rabbi known as the "Sfas Emes," based on this very paragraph.
 
The greatest challenge facing the Jewish people is not from our enemies but rather, from our internal discord. The biggest source of our personal, communal and national struggles is our inability to maintain a sense of unity and brotherhood among all factions of Judaism; to remember that what unites us is greater than that which divides us.
 
On this Seder night let us remember that Kol Yisrael areyvim zeh bazeh, we are all responsible for our fellow Jews. All of us desire for Israel to dwell securely in her borders. All of us want Judaism to continue to thrive and flourish. All of us hope that our community achieves even greater success, and all of us pray for the welfare of our parents, spouse, family and friends.
 
Let us resolve, therefore, to strive to achieve a sense of unity and harmony in our homes, community, country, and homeland, by not allowing the squabbles and frustrations to break us apart. As we give thanks to God for his divine protection, let us also extend a thank you to everyone around us at our Seder table and beyond for their work on behalf of Judaism and Jewish life. And in that spirit of togetherness, friendship and fellowship we pray that God will continue to keep us safe, secure and successful.
 
 
Rabbi Joshua Hess is the religious leader of Congregation Anshe Chesed  in Linden and the president of the Va'ad of Rabbis of Central NJ.
 

haggadah Section: -- Exodus Story
Source: Rabbi Joshua Hess