Praying for Israel at our seders

As we sit down to our Passover seders Wednesday night, we'll retell the story of our ancestors' flight out of Egypt, vanquishing Pharaoh's armies with the help of God and eventually arriving at the Promised Land.

This year, as we consume our bitter herbs and our unleavened bread, we are reminded that the freedom we longed for in the Promised Land is not yet ours.

Israelis are subject to attack wherever they go. As a result, many are reluctant to leave their homes. They are afraid to go to a restaurant, a shopping mall or a movie theater. Suicide bombers have taken too many lives of innocent people who were just spending some leisure hours together in a once-peaceful environment.

Unfortunately, persecution of the Jewish people did not end with the Exodus or even with the death of Hitler. There are still those who seek to remove any memory of Jewish existence. This could happen in the Mideast if the enemy gets its hands on nuclear weapons.

We need to spend some time at our seders discussing the situation in Israel and what it means to us as Jews in the diaspora.

The Passover seder is a time for recollection. We remember former Passovers we shared with our family, and we remember the Passovers of generations gone by.

We especially recall how the Jewish people left slavery and went on to build the first Jewish homeland. Israel continued to thrive through the centuries as more and more Jews fled lands of oppression where they experienced discrimination and hardship.

While we are grateful for our people's deliverance from Egypt and other rogue states, we must recognize that our dream of true freedom is not yet a reality.

During our seders this year, when we say the words "next year in Jerusalem," let us add a prayer for peace and safety for our brothers and sisters in Israel.

Let us pray that next Passover — or even sooner — they are delivered from the hands that seek to destroy them.

Once they are safe, maybe we can all spend next year in Jerusalem with them.