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A new initiative: As in Passover – the Haggadah of the Holocaust and the rebirth

Arena Cohen


Every year, millions of Jews turn around the Seder table, for a family meal and for the reading of the Haggadah in which the Exodus is told. Now, a new organization wants to ‘copy’ the Haggadah model to the story of the Holocaust and the rebirth of the Jewish people in order to preserve the memory – even after there are no more survivors alive

Passover Seder. Soon on Holocaust Day? | Photo : Flash 90 / Nati Shohat

One of the most significant parts of the commemoration of Holocaust Martyrs ‘and Heroes’ Remembrance Day is the authentic encounter with survivors and survivors who recount their difficult experiences during this terrible period. But the survivors will not be with us forever to tell their feelings and very soon all that remains is pictures, movies and museums – reminders worthy of the horrors, but not sure enough. This challenge is met by the members of the “Haggadah for the Holocaust and the Revival”, who chose to do so in a unique and popular way: creating a “Haggadah” that will tell what happened to the Jewish people during this dark period.

This is a text and a family ceremony, which, like the Passover Haggadah and the Passover Seder, will enable an annual and active commemoration of the Holocaust in future generations. That day, in Israel and the Diaspora, will be called the story of the Holocaust and rebirth. For the first time, a structured, unified story in which the value of man, the rights of the individual, and acceptance of the other will be emphasized.

The initiative was born in the wake of a letter sent by Eugenia Rotter, a Holocaust survivor, to the newspaper Novini Krakowskaya, a newspaper of the Association of Krakow Immigrants in Israel, in 2010. “On Passover we celebrate an event that happened thousands of years ago and tell future generations what happened by reading the Haggadah, Roter. “I think we should celebrate and celebrate our victory, the few survivors, about evil and evil – by reading the Holocaust, which will be transmitted from generation to generation and will tell the wonderful story of the survivors who established new lives in Israel.”

Remember in different ways. March of the Living Archives | Photo: Reuters

Roter explained why the idea came “late”. “We were so few, so tired and weak, that we could not immediately think that actually going out of ruin was the great victory of the Jewish people in the 20th century,” she added. “The idea is burning in my mind as long as we are alive, so few remain, every day less, and the biological solution works.”

The vision is drawn from the “Messenger of the Survivors”, which was first read by Zvi Gil and Raoul Teitelbaum at Yad Vashem in 2002 at the closing of the International Holocaust Survivors’ Conference. “Although the memory of the Holocaust is fraught with destruction, evil, and loss of human dignity that threaten all human values, we, the survivors, who marched in the valley of the shadow of death and saw how our families, our communities and our people were destroyed, did not sink into the abyss of despair, . “We seek to extricate ourselves from the horror that has made our flesh a positive message to our people and to the world – a message of commitment to the values ​​of man and humanity.”

Everyone writes the Haggadah

Six years ago, a group of people, including public figures, academia, education and others, gathered together with survivors and their children who began working together to understand how to achieve the goal of creating a new tradition in Israel and the Diaspora. Among the members of the association is Dr. Maya Zinovich-Goldenberg, who held a number of positions in the Knesset and in the government, former Minister Micha Harish, the psychologist Dr. Gila Matzliah-Lieberman, Major Dasi Peer-Dror, Social activist, advertising man Amir Singer and former journalist Zvi Gil.

After five years of intensive work, the group established a non-governmental organization that began to hold house-to-house meetings throughout the country in all sectors of Israeli society and organized focus groups to sharpen insights. The insights from the circles of the house that will take place during the coming year will be grouped into the text of the Haggadah. In the future, the association also intends to contact intellectuals, intellectuals and others in order to gather texts for Haggadah so that it will appeal to as many audiences as possible in Israeli society.

The organization stresses that the hope is that every family in Israel will sit each year for a family meal, read the Haggadah, and thus the discourse will continue for future generations as well, with an active angle. Just as thousands of years later we still commemorate the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt every year.