Tonight we are fortunate; we can assemble freely and openly to celebrate Passover. But it hasn't always been this way. Tonight we recall how our Sages celebrated Passsover in a cave to hide form the Romans, how the Marranos met secretly in basements to celebrate this festival, and how on the first day of Passover the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up against their adversary.
We think especially of the six million of our people who perished at the hands of a tyrant more wicked than the Pharoah who enslaved our ancestors in Egypt. We pay homage to them and remember that through their martyrdom was Israel redeemed from exile.
Help us, O God, to cling to our faith as we remember the words of Anne Frank: "That's the difficulty in these times: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to meet the horrible truth and be shattered. It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't buid up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too. I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.
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