A Gut Yomtef

Pessah 2024

The incommensurable suffering of the families and the hostages of the October 7 pogrom; the orphans, widows, parents, brothers, and sisters of the soldiers dying in the war Hamas has imposed upon Israel; the 300 drones and missiles fired by Iran to murder as many Israelis as possible; the increasing manifestations of hate against Jews around the world, all this renders the traditional “Hag Sameah” (happy holiday) wish this year, meaningless.

The moment we live conspires against making recalling the past a source of joy. But besides liberation, Pessah is also a celebration of the family.

The current circumstances should make us acutely conscious of what a blessing is every minute we can partake with those we love.

Pessah is a holiday designed to strengthen the bonds that join families together; it should be a moment to appreciate that being able to be with dear ones is not a given but a blessing that demands gratitude.  If that is the most valuable thing life gives us: “Dayenu,” it is “good enough.” Everything else amounts to not much more than superficialities that don’t address the real needs of our soul.

Ashkenazi Jews have it right. Rather than saying “Hag Sameah” (A Happy Holiday), they more appropriately say “Gut Yomtef” (a good holiday).

A good holiday is one that lets others know that what we feel for them is the same as what we feel for ourselves.

May this be a good holiday, a Gut Yomtef for you and your dear ones.

My wish is for you to have a good holiday in the company of your family and with those who are like family to you.

I hope that this holiday and the arrival of spring will bring you energy and inspiration, helping to dissipate the plagues that have stricken Jewish and non-Jewish lives these past months.

May this holiday bring some solace to those who contemplate empty chairs around their Seder table. Pessah signaled the birth of the Jewish people, and we are part of this people. We cover each other’s backs.

It may be difficult to feel this Passover as a happy one, a hag sameah, but still, it should be a Gut Yomtef, a (dayenu) holiday, one good enough for our life priorities to be sung the night of the Seder.

Rabbi Moshe Pitchon




  • Posted April 22, 2024 7:28 pm
    Eddy konforti

    Te acordas de mi Mauricio…?
    Jag Sameaj!!!

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