Friday, April 15, 2011

From the Desk of Rabbi Efrem Goldberg - Share One Seder

Rabbi Efrem Goldberg speaking at
Iranium the Movie
Ignorance is least for the ignorant. For those listening to them, the ignorance is a great source of sadness. I had a number of interactions this week with unaffiliated and uneducated brothers and sisters of ours around Boca. Here are a few of the things they said innocently, sweetly and sadly with profound ignorance.

“I just don’t eat bread on Passover, I didn’t know you can’t have crackers or pasta or bread crumbs.” “My family can’t make it Tuesday night for a seder so we are having them this year on Sunday night and Monday night instead.” “What are second days? Isn’t Passover just the two nights of the seders?” “Rabbi, we would love for your family to come for a meal to our home (10 miles away and non Kosher) over the holiday.”

I share these true quotes not God forbid to degrade, judge or look down on those who don’t know as much as we. Rather, I hope you will feel the same thing as I did when I heard them – sadness and optimism at the same time. You see, on the one hand, it is truly depressing to recognize the level of ignorance the overwhelming majority of Jews have regarding our magnificent heritage, faith and tradition. Almost every one of them will say, “You know, my grandparents were orthodox or strictly kosher.” However, due to assimilation, millions of our brothers and sisters have been denied access to the greatest treasure, our Torah.

On the other hand, the depth of the ignorance provides the easiest of opportunities to educate, inspire and teach. One does not need to be a Rabbi, Talmud scholar or be super knowledgeable to engage in outreach. Every single one of you knows more than the people we are reaching out to and you have the tools to inspire them, I guarantee it.

Pesach is just a few days away but it isn’t too late to invite someone for a seder or Pesach meal. Think of someone at your gym, the office, your neighbor or family member whom you can invite over. Having a conversation with them about what are the things we are enslaved to and how can we achieve freedom from them, can change their lives.

All we are asking is S.O.S. – Share one Seder, because after all – sharing is caring.

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