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Op-Ed: A new immigrant’s thoughts ahead of Passover

Violeta Esquinazi, who immigrated to Israel a year ago, explains why this Passover is a very special one for her. She is finally fulfilling the Haggadah's prophesy: “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem during Passover 2016 Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

With Passover less than a week away, I am reflecting on the past year, my first in Israel, in which I fulfilled the Haggadah's prophesy – “Next year in Jerusalem.”

As an eyewitness, I have grasped that Israel is a mini cosmos of the world’s cultures and religions, the crib of the Bible and the one and only ancestral land pledged by G-d to the Jews.

I have realized in full spectrum the diversity of the people, more specifically, the Jewish diversity that evolved since the time of our Exodus from Egypt. In reading the Haggadah, we attempt to relive the supernatural miracles that took place, as the parting of the Red Sea to create a safe passage from slavery to freedom.

A modern-day miracle to which all Jews can bear witness is often overlooked. In spite of the numberless pharaohs who time and again attempted our complete destruction, we are still here as one people and regardless of where we come from or what we look like, we sit around a Seder table to retell our collective story of redemption.

Each of us is a link in the worldly cosmos of Jews, who regardless of origin, culture, language, race, customs, religious observance or affiliation, family structure or elemental values, will forever remain bonded by our collective Jewish identity and heritage.

This year I wish to focus more than before on the Jewish miracle of all times: our survival that is tightly woven into our diversity and the continuity of the Jewish faith that unites all of our people as Am Echad.

In closing, I pray that in our complex and conflictive world, all forms of evil and subjugation vanish in the light of acceptance and kindness and all races and creeds experience freedom in their hearts and in their midst.

JOL Blogger | Violeta Esquinazi

Violeta Esquinazi landed in Israel in April 2016 after decades of dreaming of living in Israel. Born and raised in Mexico, Esquinazi lived the most meaningful years of her life in Vancouver, Canada, where she raised two daughters and built a community of support and caring. She worked in education administration and language instruction. Esquinazi says that her gregarious nature, warmth and dedication to what she values most define her. She loves to build bridges of connection and believes in the power of meaningful relationships. She has a BBA and Adult Education and TESOL credentials. She is fluent in three languages. She is also a freelance writer, author, editor and blogger.

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