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English Supplement 5773 A4 Size

English Supplement 5773 A4 Size

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Published by: Rabbis for Human Rights on Mar 24, 2013
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Rabbis for Human Rights Haggadah Supplements5773
Eloheinu v'Elohei Kadmoneinu
Avoteinu, Avoteinu vEmoteinu
), our God and God of our ancestors, we are gathered around this seder table as
b'nei khorin
, free people commanded to remember our darknights of oppression. Your Torah warns us never to becomeoppressors ourselves, reminding us, "For you were strangers in theland of Egypt." Yet, when we are honest with ourselves, we knowthat we have been Pharaoh to other peoples, and to thedisadvantaged among our own people. Our awareness that "Inevery generation there are those who arise to destroy us" oftencauses us to harden our hearts, and perceive hatred where it doesnot exist.We therefore turn to You, as in days of old. Stand with us, so thatour fears not rise up to be our taskmasters. Help us to banishPharaoh from our hearts, and let others in.With Pharaoh at bay, we become more painfully aware of thedesecration of Your Image found in every human being. As with theplagues of old, our joy is diminished when we hear of those whoselives remain embittered. "
Hashata Avdei
," "This year we remainslaves because of their oppression " We remove additional dropsof wine from our cup of celebration and renew our commitment towinning their freedom, thereby completing ours. We make room inour hearts and at our table for (Choose one or more. One personcan read out loud, and all participants can read the final linetogether):
Lili and Itzik Menashe.
Lili and Itzik selflessly took care of Itzik's mother, livingwith her in her public housing apartment until she died. Itzik never knew another home, and Lili joined after they were married. However, they encountereddifficulties conceiving, and their doctor felt that they needed to get away from thetension of Itzik's mother's frequent medical emergencies. They rented anapartment, spending a week there a month, and subletting to a nephew for theremainder of the time. They are now blessed with a son, but all three risk evictionbecause that apartment was deemed as disqualifying them to remain in their homeafter Itzik's mother died. Itzik had his drivers licence temporarily suspended, andcould not longer work as a driver. The threat of eviction paralyzed Lili, and she losther job. With the help of public housing activists, the threatened eviction has beenseveral times postponed, but the tension is taking it's toll. Itzik and Lilia are notalone. Rachel and her daughter are still homeless, after last year's eviction.Families in "The Ma'abarah" could be on the street at any time. Many families in
limbo consider taking their lives, as did Moshe Sillman z"l. Tens of thousands of Israelis are in need of non-existent public housing, while others languish inapartments in dangerous states of disrepair.
As we sing
Adir Hu
this Passover night and dream of the day when God'shouse will be built, we sit with Lili and Itzik, and know that we must firstbuild homes for all of our fellow citizens.
Helmi Abdul-Aziz
. Helmi was shot in the stomach and critically injured whenhe came to the aid of elderly relatives being attacked by Israelis in the Palestinianvillage of Qusra. The area has long been tense, and has been even more sosince RHR helped Fawzi Hussein plow lands underneath the Eish Kodesh outpostthat had long been a "forbidden zone." Hanging between life and death, theIsraeli army evacuated him on a breathing machine from a Nablus hospital toHadassah, Ein Kerem, where his condition has thankfully stabilized.
The Egyptians punished us for seeking freedom and justice. We inviteHelmi to our seder table, and all those who today pay the price we oncepaid.
Gabriel Kuol
fled for his life from South Sudan to Egypt. Again feeling his lifein danger, he tumbled over the border into Israel with an Egyptian bullet in his leg.His love and gratitude to Israel faded as the situation deteriorated. First asylumseekers were forbidden to work, then they suffered beatings when they tried torenew their residency permits, which were eventually revoked. Gabriel wasdetained and deported, leaving all of his possessions behind. He nearly died of malaria back in South Sudan" The 60,000 African asylum seekers remaining aredemonized and our border is now closed. The "anti infiltration law" allows them tobe imprisoned for over three years, and even those from countries so dangerousthat the law prevents their deportation have been encouraged to "Leavevoluntarily"
As we open our doors to invite all who are hungry to come and eat, weremember the many doors closed to us over long years of persecution. ThisPassover, may we open our hearts and our borders to those fleeing for their lives.
Like Gabriel, our ancestor was a wandering Aramean, and we werestrangers in the land of Egypt.
Sheikh Sayakh.
The exhaustion shows on the Sheikh's face. His tribe'shomes in El-Arakib in the Negev have been reduced to pitiful lean
tos, and eventhese have been demolished over 40 times. RHR has helped to temporarily haltJNF forests closing, and thankfully the High Court has overruled the State andordered the District Court to hear their ownership claims. However, the judgeswarned that it would not be easy to explain why they didn't challenge theexpropriation of their lands in 1953, an expropriation they claim they onlydiscovered in 2000. There is less certainty in Sheikh Sayakh's voice when hesays that he is counting on us, and he no longer expresses faith in Israeli justice.
Perhaps he has visions of the cemetery of his "unrecognized" Bedouin village inthe middle of a JNF forest offering silent testimony that his tribe lived here for generations. The families of Al Arakib are but some of the 40,000 Israeli Bedouinin danger of being forced from their homes if government plans are approved bythe Knesset.
Celebrating the seder in the security of our homes, we commit ourselvesthis night to guaranteeing a home for all. We must make sure that SheikhSayakh has a place at our table, and must work in the coming year so thatour national home rests on a foundation of justice.
Ruti Kedem.
 An unemployed single parent mom, Ruti decided to pursue adegree in archaeological preservation, so that she could become self supporting.RHR helped her through bureaucracy attempting to make her choose betweenwelfare payments and a tuition stipend. However, as she neared graduation, a
new vindictive case worker said "Here, people don’t go to school." She lost her 
welfare payments because she didn't accept jobs that would not have allowed her to continue her studies. Ruti thankfully now has her degree, is employed, and nolonger needs welfare, but is fighting with us to get retroactive payments to pay off debts she incurred after welfare was cut off, and to get a legal precedent so thatothers won't face the same dilemma.
We remember this night how the Egyptians tried to break our ancestors bydemanding they begin to gather their own straw, while maintaining the samequota of bricks. We must not break those trying to better their lives throughcruel and impossible demands. Ruti and those like her must have their place sitting among those supporting themselves with dignity.
Nasser Nawaje.
Nasser was a young boy in 1986 when he, his family and allthe Palestinian villagers of Susya in the South Hebron Hills were expelledbecause their home was declared an archaeological site. They moved intonearby caves on their lands, only to see the army demolish their caves and try toexpel them again. Israel's High Court returned them, but they were told thateverything built to replace their caves was illegal. Nasser is known and hated bythe area's settlers for his work documenting human rights abuses, helping RHR toprevent and even roll back land takeovers. In response the settlers and"
" have gone to court demanding that the army demolish almost thevillage. Nasser told us, "When they came to demolish our homes in 1986, therewas nothing we could do because we were all alone. We are again in greatdanger, but we are not alone any more."
As God has stood with our ancestors, we resolve this night to stand withNasser.
ma'asu habonim
- The stone rejected by the builders hasbecome the cornerstone. "As we joyfully recite these words of Hallel as a part of our seder, we pledge to build a homeland with aplace for all those who are today rejected, ignored or oppressed.

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