Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Set a Place for Gilad

Facebook campaign to raise awareness about Gilad at your own Seder table:
Soon, we'll be sitting down at the Seder table with family and friends, as we have for thousands of years, celebrating our exodus from Egypt.

We'll begin retelling our story, pointing to the matzah:

This is the bread of affliction, which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt.
All who are hungry, come and eat;
All who are in need, come and partake...
Now we are here, next year we will be in the Land of Israel;
This year, captive; next year [we will be] free men.

"השתא עבדי-- this year, captive."

Today, 'captive' rings all too familiar.

This year, someone really IS captive.

A twenty-four year old, lanky young man who grew up in Mitzpe Hila; the shy, cheerful, soccer-playing son of French immigrants. Who, as a kid, wrote stories about a shark and fish who learned to be friends despite their differences. Who spent vacations helping out at his parents' bed and breakfast, who loves to solve math problems, who memorized every international sports tournament result.

Gilad Shalit has been in captivity by Hamas terrorists for almost five years.

In violation of international law, Gilad has been denied visits from the International Red Cross and has had no contact from his family. He has been denied the right to humane treatment and to unfettered access to the Red Cross, in violation of Articles 13 and 126 of the Third Geneva Convention.

This Pesach, while we sit in the comfort of our homes, with candles lit and beautifully-set tables, with family and friends gathering together-- Gilad will be alone in an underground Hamas bunker.

Let us not sit idly by.

Let every Seder table across the world, from New York to Jerusalem, Paris to Mumbai, Moscow to Los Angeles to Sao Paulo, set a place for Gilad. As we thank God for our redemption thousands of years ago, let us also pray for Gilad's freedom and demand that the world not be silent; as we taste the bitter herbs, let us remember that the bitterness hasn't ended.

And when the children ask why on all other nights we eat bread and why tonight we eat matzah, let them also ask why there is an empty seat at the table.

גלעד, לא שכחנו אותך.
We have not forgotten you, Gilad.

ושבו בנים לגבולם | "And thy sons shall return to their borders"

For more information about Gilad and the campaign for his release:

No comments:

Post a Comment