Passover: Liberty, Then and Now

Maayan Ariel wishes all our friends and relarives a lovely and inspirational Shabbat.

Maayan Ariel wishes all our friends and relatives a lovely, inspirational Shabbat, and a happy and kosher Passover.

Seraphic Secret rises at 5 a.m for a morning walk. The streets are empty save for the chug-chug-chugging of the pick-up trucks delivering newspapers. Sprinklers hiss, and lawns glisten.

The air is lightly perfumed with jacaranda.

I listen to a news round-up and feel—there is no way around this—sad and defeated.

Obamacare, the law of the land, is going to drive up premiums over the next few years by as much as 116%. The greatest health care system in world history is being dismantled by people who are exempt from the leviathan they are imposing on the rest of us.

Meanwhile, the great destroyer, Obama, is in Israel comparing the Arab-Israeli conflict to a neighborly argument between the U.S. and—I kid you not—Canada.

I bet you didn’t know that Canada has vowed to wipe America off the face of the earth. I’ll also wager you didn’t know that Canada is lobbing missiles into America. And I’m sure you didn’t know that Canadians routinely refer to Americans as the descendants of apes and pigs.

Barack Hussein Obama, with all due respect to his office, is a moron.

In disgust, Seraphic Secret switches off the news and listens to the silence.  I ponder the trajectory of my life: from Brooklyn to Hollywood. I think about Karen, the love of my life and all she has given me. Our son, Ariel, studies Torah in the heavenly Beis Midrash. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of him, yearn for his physical presence.

Our two daughters have grown into supremely fine, accomplished young women who have married splendid men. Maayan Ariel and Lielle Meital, our granddaughters, are bright, bubbly, and beautiful.

Tonight is Shabbat, a bit of heaven on earth, and then Monday night begins the holiday of Passover in which Jews celebrate our liberation from slavery.

Liberty is a G-d given right that was first bestowed on the children of Israel, and then disseminated to the rest of mankind.

For the first time in my life, under the Obama regime, I feel less free as an American. We are a people enslaved by increments. One day you are a citizen, a free man, and then suddenly, you are a cog in a giant machine.

This is  not a new phenomenon. The children of Israel were, at first, honored guests, and then slaves in Egypt for 400 years.

At last, they were made free and given a national homeland.

Just 68 years ago, one third of the Jewish people were exterminated. And just a few years later, this ancient Jewish homeland was reestablished: Israel.

These are miracles made possible through G-d and the agency of man’s free will.

The Jewish people’s gifts to the world are monotheism and liberty. These are the twin concepts upon which America was founded. So closely did our founding fathers identify with the children of Israel and their flight from bondage, that Hebrew was proposed as the national language of the New World.

When we sit down at our Passover meal we will praise G-d, sing of freedom, and hope that somehow we Americans will throw off the shackles of slavery and regain our liberty.

This entry was posted in Judaism, Judaism & Christianity, Maayan Ariel, Obamacare, Passover, Remembering Ariel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

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  1. antoineclarke
    Posted March 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Possibly my favourite quote from Babylon 5:
    </blockquote>No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power tyrants and dictators cannot stand. The Centauri learned that lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Although it take a thousand years, we will be free.</blockquote>

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  2. Posted March 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Of course you didn’t know that we’re lobbing missiles into American daily. It’s just that we do it so politely.
    But seriously, your president is a dangerous lightweight. You really ought to have done something about him, except that you have so many dangerous lightweights who vote.

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    • OBloodyHell
      Posted March 29, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      }}}} But seriously, your president is a dangerous lightweight. 

      Our PotUS is a cancerous scumbag eating away at the heart of the nation. I don’t advocate direct action, nor would I pray for his death. 

      But if some natural event should strike him down, I am coming to the conclusion that even BIDEN would be an improvement.

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  3. Mr Evilwrench
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Obama may do things that a moron would do, but, though he’s not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, he’s a bit above normal intelligence. The problem is not that he is a moron, but that he is the enemy.  I put that word to him in 2007, when I first became aware of him and studied him.  I’m afraid his intention to “fundamentally transform” America will resonate particularly with the sons of Israel.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      By sons of Israel I assume you are referring to liberal Jews whose religion is progressive politics. Over 80% of Torah observant Jews are Conservative in their politics and reliably vote Republican.

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      • Mr Evilwrench
        Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        I mean the real ones, of course.  The liberals, like all of that sort, are delusional, and will be hard put to see things as they are, even when they’re right out in the open.

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  4. Bill Brandt
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I too get bouts of depression ove the direction the country is taking. What we are seeing is the beginning of either a reformation of slavery.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink


      Slavery comes in increments, and it is happening right now. I see no reformation. Zero. I see a dysfunctional Republican party thrashing about and being outflanked by a ruthless opposition who will do and say anything to advance their socialist agenda. Unless Obamacare is defunded, blocked at every turn, we will lose America. Once they have your body, there is nowhere else to turn. With no exit possible, you are trapped like a rat in a maze.

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  5. Posted March 23, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Gut Vak and a Kasher Sameach to the Avrech mishpacha.
    I too share your sentiments (a moron yes but more of an evil idiot savant) and similies to the slavery and bondage of Egypt.
    However…  on the Gripping Hand…  I still see G-d’s Hand in the affairs of This World, just as G-d’s Hand was indeed involved not only in our Freedom from Slavery in Egypt but – in letting the Jews become slaves in the first place.
    G-d chooses kings and controls the hearts of kings, just as he did with Pharaoh.  As you note, one can look at the annals of the United States of America and understand that we too have been under G-d’s influence for as long as the US has existed.  
    How could an obscure; unschooled; non religious believer; country lawyer rise from obscurity and beat the professional, wealthy, better qualified politicians to become the greatest, most moral President America has ever known “with malice towards none and charity to all” in order to win the greatest moral battle of this country?  Luck? I think not.
    How does the Supreme Court choose to be President a man that, to all outward appearances, is marginally worse than his (now certifiably insane) opponent who was  described as being dumber than a block of wood…?
    Nine months later, on September 11th, we learned why G-d Chose George W. Bush to be President.
    So, it is my humble and obscure opinion is that it is our task, not to despair, but to try and understand WHY G-d chose Barack Hussein Obama – twice, no less!  And WHY G-d has given the President a heart of stupid.
    Anyway – may we all celebrate This Year in Yerushalayim!  Hag Sameach.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      I am not going to try and understand why G-d does what he does. It’s a futile exercise in theological projection. I do despair. That is a valid human reaction to catastrophe. But I bounce back—eventually.  And then I fight with all my heart. And on it goes.

      Chag kasher v’sameach

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  6. DrCarol
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I am reading Job a lot.  And David’s Psalms.  It also helps that I do not have cable TV and I’d rather watch a movie than talking head news. 
    There are still many Americans of good conscience who are staunch patriots and who understand the dangers of this age.  All is not lost—yet. 

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Basically, I have ceased watching Fox News. To see them giving face time to hacks from the left infuriates me. They have not learned some basic truths which should be self-evident from the last election. The Dems are in this to win — and then conquer. Unless we Conservatives get serious about the existential nature of this political battle, America will become a colossal echo of the failed EU.

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  7. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Nothing causes reflection on liberty like granddaughters. Yours is as precious as mine and I am glad for you. I hope Shabbat and Passover find you and yours well and happy Robert.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much for the kind words. Same to you and yours.

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  8. Johnny
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Barack Hussein Obama, with all due respect to his office, is a moron.
    Gee, I thought it was Bush that was a moron. Of course he would never do a fraction of the stupid things Obama has done, starting with his ultra-moronic choice for VP.
    Liberty, like our other rights, are not bestowed from a benevolent government or 5 justices on the SC.  
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    If only the senior senator from your state (and scores of others in D.C.) would understand such a simple concept we would not have a government of men deciding what freedoms we should enjoy.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      Have you ever noticed that the Dems characterize all successful Conservatives as stupid: Reagan, Bush, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann. They demonize, endlessly, and we Conservatives politely debate.

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  9. orcadrvr
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I share your occasional bouts of mild depression.  Sometimes, it seems to me that the precious heritage bequeathed to us from countless prior generations of patriotic Americans is going to be extinguished during our lifetimes. 
    I watch World War II documentaries, and I wonder if we could ever duplicate that generation’s  level of intensity and dedication to the ideal of freedom.  Although our current armed forces members are well up to the task, I cannot believe that the rest of the country could ever summon the inner resources to defy another Nazi, militarist, or communist existential threat.  I see our flaccid and confused reaction to our current antagonists, the radical Islamists (pardon the redundancy), and frankly fear for the future.
    I do what I can, which is to talk to those around me whom I feel are even slightly receptive to an appeal based on traditional American values. 
    The above notwithstanding, this is a great blog.
    Chag Sameach, and Shabbat Shalom.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I believe that our political and chattering classes are so corrupt, so compromised by moral equivalence that they would appease the Nazis just as they are appeasing the IslamoNazis who threaten our civilization right now.

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  10. Posted March 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Obama is a puzzle to me. I wonder how many know that Romney and Netanyahu have been friends since the Boston Consulting Group 35 years ago. What an opportunity we have lost. Have a safe Shabbat and Passover.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Well, the Democrat party hates Netanyahu, so Romney’s friendship with Bibi was just another reason to vote for Hussein.

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  11. sennacherib
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    A good one to you and yours. Be of good cheer in all weathers. Remember this about slavery, it’s not your body, it’s your soul and minds’ circumstance that defines slavery in you. I personally feel no harm toward anyone, carry no harm toward anyone, but I fear no one but G-d and my own foolishness. I am not now or ever will be a slave.
    On a bright note. In medieval times if you became ill and were to poor to hire a doctor you died. If you were rich, you hired a doctor and he killed you.

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, it is my body. Obamacare is a bullet directed at my body, at every single body in America.

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      • sennacherib
        Posted March 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Beg to disagree. G-d or truth if you will does not reside in the body. It’s home is in the soul and mind. As long as it is there you cannot be a slave. Once it leaves or is taken then all is lost. Don’t get me wrong the binding of the body is an onerous thing. I have made my decision on Obamacare.  I will not agree, I will not fill out forms, I will not ask for waiver.  I do not know what the future holds in this endeavor, it could nothing or it could be incarceration. I will not comply.

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  12. Karen Singer Avrech
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful and poignant thoughts. The speech Obama gave was delusional and fraught with condescension and misplaced blame. Perhaps moronic.

    But what can we say about the Israelis who responded with prolonged applause when asked to put themselves in the shoes of the Palestinians? If the question was reversed, and asked of the Palestinians, the response would be a barrage of shoes torpedoed at the president’s head.  

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    • Nickie Clifford
      Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      And I’m certain there would be scores of Muslim ‘apologists’ justifying why the barage of shoes was warranted. As there are when terrorism is inflicted upon the Israelis.

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  13. Nickie Clifford
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    When my mother speaks of her dejection regarding Barak Obama  and how she watched him on T.V. during the day – I advise her that ‘this too shall pass’ and to choose to turn-off the television rather than inflicting torture upon herself! I am every bit as disgusted by this man as she is – however, I realize there is nothing more we can do at this point other than wait it out. I purposely tune his Presidency out. And the truth is Robert – it’s ‘all’ about those two adorable granddaughter’s of your’s now (our children/granchildren are our future – our ‘purpose’). So I hope that thought can raise your spirits:)   

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink


      Obama will pass. True. But Obama is only the symptom. The larger enemy is radical leftism which is the Democrat party. That is not passing. And neither is Obamacare which is a poison that will infect every man, woman and child in America.

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      • Nickie Clifford
        Posted March 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        I am fervently hoping that we Republican’s can reinvent our party between now and the next election (I am thinking the Hispanic constituency is the key) – praying that this ‘regime’ is the low-ebb. As for “O-care” – I am terrified as to how this will affect those of us who are fairly well cared for via corporate health insurance, etc..

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      • kgbudge
        Posted March 25, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        Even the Democractic Party is a symptom. It’s the culture that’s gone soft, starting at the head.

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  14. kdevine
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Let us never forget that the Savior of our founding fathers was a Jewish carpenter.

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  15. Jake
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Liberty = responsibility and the loss of liberty often comes from people deciding they’d rather someone else, (a sovereign, the government, reality TV), take the responsibility. 
    Thus, the giving of the Torah and the emancipation of the Israelites HAD to come simultaneously. The Torah makes it clear that adults CANNOT choose to just hand responsibility over to someone else. Everyone will be judged by G-d based on HIS/HER actions. The Torah gives us the rule of meritocracy. At the time it was an extremely novel concept. Sadly, it appears it is again today. 

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink


      Wonderful and accurate observation. Of course, all the liberal Jews who worship at the alter of, ahem, social justice (code for Marxism) in the name of Judaism are either totally ignorant of Judaism or they are deliberately distorting the message of the Torah and Jewish history. Probably a combination of both.

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    • kgbudge
      Posted March 25, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Indeed. At the root of the cultural corruption and associated renunciation of liberty is the desire not to answer for one’s sins. To be free is to be morally accountable to G-d.

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  16. maya
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Of all the Jewish festivals, I have always found Passover to be the most intellectually engaging and thought-provoking. The themes it represents are timeless and always relevant and applicable. 
    Shabbat Shalom and Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach to you and yours. 
    Your granddaughters are beautiful 🙂 

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    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink


      Thanks so much. Maayan is, in English, Maya.

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