Letter: A time of new light, hope, rebirth, renewal

Published 12:18 pm Sunday, April 10, 2022

Rabbi Barry L. Weinstein

Rabbi of Temple Sinai of Lake Charles

A Coincidence? Really?

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Easter, Passover, Ramadan each arrives now.

This Sunday, April 10, Christians enter into Holy Week. Ramadan began Sunday, April 2. Passover begins the evening of Good Friday, April 15.


I believe not really!

For Muslims, Ramadan is a Holy Month, characterized by fasting, spiritual thoughts, and acts of charity.

For Catholics, Lent includes fasting, charitable deeds.

For Jews in our Passover Seder, we pray, holding up the Matzah, the Unleavened Bread:

“This is the bread of affliction,

The poor bread,

Which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.

Let all who are hungry come and eat

Let all who are in want

Share the hope of Passover.“

(Passover Haggadah, Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1975)

In the Passover Haggadah, the retelling of the Passover story during our Passover Seder, we pray:

“Our history moves from slavery toward freedom.

Our narration begins with degradation and rises to dignity.

Our service opens with the rule of evil and advances toward the Kingdom of G-d.”

Easter, for Christians, is the triumph of life over death, light over darkness.

Ramadan brings with it deep spirituality and devotion to those in need.

Rabbi Allen S. Maller, writing in “The Times of Israel,” reminds us of a passage in The Zohar, the 13th century book of Jewish mysticism:

Two rabbis, both idealists, look upon a lamp; one sees it as half empty, the other sees it as half full, but to the lamp it makes no difference if it’s  empty or full. Yet, to us in this world, it makes all the difference to whether we see  or not!

What a magnificent and wondrous time in which we find ourselves in this world!

Whether Christian, Muslim or Jew, in these days we behold our sorry beleagued world in a new light, the light of hope, rebirth, renewal.

Our Passover Haggadah concludes with these words:

“Peace, peace for us, for everyone!

For all People, This, our Hope:

L’Shanah Haba-ah birushala-yim,

Next year in Jerusalem!

Next year may all be free!

“Next year in Jerusalem” is an expression of Hope for Judaism.

For me, this awesome phrase contains within the universal hope and prayer for a world of peace in every way, certainly now for the return of peace and safety for Ukraine, and ever greater peace and friendship here at home.

May these days of Ramadan, Easter, and Passover bring us all the blessings of faith, hope, charity, loving kindness, renewal, rebirth and always,

Shalom, Peace.