Chag Pesach Sameach

להיות עם חופשי


Chag Pesach is also known as chag Ha cherut or Chag Cheruteinu – The festival of our freedom.

The struggle for freedom is woven into Jewish history and identity for thousands of years.

It is true about the collective freedom of the Jewish People as a whole to be accepted for who they are and for the individual to practice their beliefs and way of life according to their set of values.

Since escaping from slavery in Egypt, 3000 years ago, different empires and countries attempted to force Jews to compromise their freedom. The Babylons, The Persians, The Hellenic and the Roman Empires attempted to force the Jewish People in the land of Israel to give up their sovereignty, their freedom of religion, their freedom of expression, attempting to stop them from living their lives according to their faith and tradition.

This was followed by centuries of Jews being a minority in various countries where often they had to hide their identity, not allowed to practice their religion, convert and often prosecuted from the Spanish Inquisition 500 years ago, through the pogroms in Eastern Europe, until the extermination in the Holocaust and the restrictions imposed by the USSR in the 20th century.

Our struggle for freedom continues to this day. Not necessarily freedom to practice our religion the way we see fit but rather the freedom to BE. The freedom to live as equals among the nations, in Australia and elsewhere. Not having to fear for our safety, being able to express our identity with pride, as people who have shared history, values and desire to make our world a better place for all humanity.

This is true for the collective and the individual around the world and it is true for the State of Israel.

Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem words express the hope to be a free people:

עוד לא אבדה תקוותנו, התקווה בת שנות אלפיים,
להיות עם חופשי בארצנו ארץ ציון וירושלים

Our hope is not yet lost, The hope of two thousand years, To be a free nation in our own land, The land of Zion and Jerusalem

The realization of the State of Israel, emerging from the ashes of various attempts to destroy the Jewish people throughout history is nothing short of a miracle.

Visionary people who joined forces with people of action, pioneers who revived an ancient language, turned swamps into orchards and desert into productive land.

Our current generation carries the torch of Judaism and it is by maintaining the concept of “ARVUT HADADIT” – mutual responsibility for each other, having each others’ back in layman language – and supporting each other despite our differences, that we can continue the chain to flourish and realize renewed Zionism with the aim to liberate ourselves, our people and humanity and lead our world to a better future.

Let us also pray for the freedom and release of all the hostages held in Gaza.

Od Lo Avada Tikvatenu
Our hope is not yet lost,

Chag Cherut Sameach

Ayal Marek
President ARZA

A reflection on the unqiue Pesach experience of this year post 7 October:

Mah Nishtanah? – A Different Seder in a Post- October 7th World

Message from ARZENU

ARZENU Message