Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Passover Warming Our Hearts

I feel Passover is in the air. What a liberating feeling! Our festival of Freedom, our Exodus from Egypt, our liberation from slavery and our journey to Eretz Yisrael.

I recently saw a movie about a German Jewish family that was so fortunate to be able to escape to Switzerland just as the Nazi’s were starting their roundups. I remember the scene when they were on the train, desperately fleeing, and they started to softly hum the song from our Passover Haggadah, Avadim Hayinu.  It brought tears to my eyes. As they remembered the plight of our ancestors in Egypt and they were trembling with fear as they were making their way to Switzerland, they held on to the hope that they too would soon be free. You could see in their eyes that singing this song gave them strength & hope and the stamina to keep running. You could see what they were thinking as they were singing …If they could do it, we could do it.

Let us remember our ancestors who fled Egypt, and let us remember all of our Jewish brethren who fled their homes from all corners of the world…from Germany to Russia, from Yemen to Ethiopia, from Iran to Syria, from Iraq to Spain and from so many other countries whose leaders wanted to persecute and annihilate our people.

We are survivors! We are determined! We will never forget!  With the strength & love of community and with the warmth & spirituality of our Synagogues, we will make sure that Yiddishkeit, Jewish Life, Jewish Tradition & Jewish Culture lives on & thrives, from generation to generation!

I remember the many Passovers Seders I led at the well-known Jewish resorts & hotels, not only in NY but across the country. There would be 1,500 – 2,000 people at a Seder with everyone singing together. Recently I led the Seders at one of the last remaining Jewish resorts in upstate NY and it brought back so many memories. This year June and I will be having the Seders with our son and his family. You can rest assured that I will be thinking of all of you, my HHBJC family. I look forward to seeing you back in shul after the holiday.

I wish everyone a Zissen Pesach, Happy Passover!

Chag Kasher V’sameach! 

AM YISRAEL CHAI !

See you in Shul.

Cantorially always,

Cantor Sol Zim