This Year’s Passover Has Stark Similarities to the Original

The beginning of this week was filled with Passover celebrations as Jewish families all over the world gathered around full tables for the holiday seder. For many Israeli families however, this week was filled with a hopeless longing for their family members to return from captivity. It was also marked by trepidation as each Jewish family in Israel didn’t know when the next missile would be fired, the next alarm would sound, or the next terrorist attack would happen. 

Stark Similarities from the Exodus Story to Today 

The festival of Passover marks the time in history when the people of Israel were held captive in Egypt as slaves, were later freed following the Ten Plagues, and ultimately the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. During the Passover meal in Egypt, the Israelites were commanded to have their staff in their hands, their belts fastened, and their sandals on their feet so that they would be ready to leave Egypt at a moment’s notice. The haste in which they left Egypt was emphasized by the fact that their bread had no time to rise.

This Passover bore a stark resemblance to the exodus from Egypt as 133 innocent people are still being held captive in Gaza. Families gathered around their seder tables this year with more than the typical single chair empty (it is typical during Passover to leave one chair empty for Elijah). Empty chairs at this year’s Passover were to remember their family members who were not able to be at their tables. Hamas added a bitter reminder of this by posting a propaganda video of Hersh Goldberg-Polin (taken captive on October 7th) who had noted in his video that he had been in captivity for nearly 200 days. 

This wasn’t where the similarities ended this Passover. In northern and southern Israel, families had to be prepared to leave their homes at a moment’s notice in order to flee the rockets coming from Hezbollah and Hamas. As families ate their seder dinner, they had to have their shoes fastened in order to flee to a bomb shelter should the sirens go off. 

The Repetition of History Should not be Accepted, Even Thousands of Years Later

The Jewish people are commanded to remember the Passover and place themselves in their ancestors’ shoes as if they themselves were the ones experiencing the Exodus. This year, it did not take much imagination for them to relate to the ancient story. The fact that the Jewish people are facing this kind of oppression and hostility thousands of years after the first Passover should be unacceptable for any person with a sense of morality. As the nations continue to call for ceasefires and depict Israel as the oppressor, the people on the sidelines watching the war unfold have become susceptible to believing that Israel is guilty. Yet through the lies of the nations and the media, the undeniable truth is that Israel was attacked on October 7th, their people were taken hostage, their men, women, and children murdered, their homes forced to be evacuated, and those that were taken hostage 202 days ago have been subject to abhorrent and unimaginable treatment. The people of Israel, yet again, must be brought out of captivity and into the Land of Israel, they must be freed from the oppression of their captors, and the vile individuals who inflicted this suffering on the Jewish people must be eradicated. 

Even after the Israelites left Egypt, Pharaoh’s armies still chose to pursue them. If Israel’s enemies do not have their “red sea event”, they will continue to pursue the Jewish people with hostility. The sea must drown out the schemes of the enemy and the Jewish people must return home to their families and their land. As Moses’ voice rang out with God’s command to, “let my people go,” the words of God’s people are desperately crying out to, “bring them home.” It is long past due for the empty seats at the seder table to be filled and for families to eat without having their sandals fastened and ready to flee. The world must acknowledge that this Passover should have not had to have similarities to the Passover of ancient times. It is time for God’s people to be let go and brought home.

Peyton Chapman

Peyton Chapman is originally from Amarillo, TX. She works full-time for HaYovel and The Israel Guys as an article author, customer support representative, and in donor relations. Additionally, she serves in various operations on the ground in Israel as needed.

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  • It’s hard to say at the present time due to the student demonstrations happening across America that seem to be gathering popularity. This is non-sense and totally unbelievable. I live in the Deep South so we are subjected to the left wing liberals as are other parts of the USA. I pray for all of Israel, the IDF and its commanders, PM Benjamine Netunyaha and those being held captives.

  • Interesting. And as the plagues happened in Egypt, Pharaoh and his court probably had the same mindset as Palestinians: blaming the Jews for all their problems of ‘oppression’ by their God.

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