For 300 years, the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt, toiling from dusk to dawn. In the Haggadah, the Jews were given a second chance when G-d freed them with "an out-stretched arm." Similarly, when my family immigrated to America, this was the opportunity for them to start fresh. It’s fitting that my Uncle Rommy was given a Haggadah for his Bar Mitzvah given the volume’s messages of rebirth and redemption. Not only was he beginning a new life as a full member of the Jewish community, he was also beginning his life as an American citizen. His family had sacrificed the financial comfort they had in Israel to come to America. They did not know an iota of English, but they yearned for a better future for their kids in this land – a future that was full of a wealth of opportunities. Every Passover, my family breaks out this silver plated prayer book as a reminder of the sacrifices my uncle and his family had to make. The book’s pages are worn out from decades of Seders, filled with the weight of generations’ memories as well as more than a few wine stains. Times may have changed, but the Haggadah has been the one constant in my family’s lives.

Year: 1954

– Jonathan Goldhirsch

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