Sunday, April 10, 2011
THE FREEDOM PESACH SEDER IN FULL GEAR CHAZAK.. by DR ASHER LIPNER
Please see the email below with the exciting pictures of the preparations.
Partially in response to the heart braking emails from survivors of domestic and sexual abuse who had no Seder to go to for Pesach, a plan has been made to make special Sedarim for them.
Many survivors feel alienated and frightened by the mainstream sedarim in the community. Many have been thrown out of their families. Unlike the Rasha (the evil son) in the Hagahda who gets mussar but is still allowed in the family, many survivors of sexual abuse are so stigmatized by our community and by their own families that they have nowhere to go on Pesach. The zman cheirusainu (time of freedom) for them has been a constant reminder of their avdus, the subjugation they suffer regularly at the hands of the molesters and their backers.
Annie of the Coalition Against Legal Abuse, and Mark Meyer Appel of The Voice Of Justice and Board member of The Jewish Board of Advocates for Children are co-organizing this event. Sherree Belsky of Kids Count has kashered her personal kitchen for them to use to cook, even though she is going to Florida. Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum has given his shul in Boro Park (the same one the JBAC used for our National Jewish Week for the Prevention of Child Abuse) to use for the Sedarim. One of the fathers of a victim of molestation in Brooklyn who has been shunned by his community and family has offered to run the sedarim. Sara Rosenberg of JPSY and Yasher Koach.com has been helping get the word out. The Metropolitan Council on Poverty has agreed to donate the food.
Many other individuals have offered to help make this an amazing event.
We still need more help. If you can give financial support to help advertise and pay for services (cleaning crew, etc.) or if you can volunteer your time, this is a huge mitzvah. There are many reasons we begin our Seder with the words "Kol Ditzrich Yasyay Vyifsach - Whoever is in need, come and join in the Pesach Seder".
1. If we cannot recognize the suffering of others in our community, how "free" can we claim to be on this night of freedom?
2. The Karbon Pesach (Paschal Lamb) needed to be eaten as a group, to teach us about the unity of Klal Yisroel. Nobody could be left out. The miracle that happened in the Beis Hamikdash (the Holy Temple) each year was that all the Jewish people fit in and all were able to participate to teach us how we are all one nation.
3. We recognize our own lowly status in the world at this time before the ultimate salvation with the announcement of Eliyahu (Elijah the prophet) of the coming of Mashiach, by pointing out how Jews all over are still suffering. And we give hope by adding at the end "Next year we will be free! Next year in Jerusalem!"
For us to mean what we say and to recognize the true meaning of Passover, how can we continue to sweep under the carpet the suffering of so many Jewish people in our community?
We want to get the word out and the Jewish media are not going to help because they still want the survivors to suffer in silence and will not admit that there are even survivors of abuse in our community. So I am turning to you to help spread the word that the tide is shifting and a yeshuah is near. That there are dedicated and caring people who are ready to put the feelings of suffering Jews before the image of our community.
By doing this, we surely will be able to experience a true sense of freedom on Passover and will bring us one step closer to the ultimate freedom we all pray for.
Chag Kasher V'sameach,