This Guest Post was written by Dr. Afshine Emrani on his Facebook feed about a Haggadah that has been a part of his life for the last half a century. In his own words, Dr. Emrani, shared the essence of Passover.
Fifty-five years ago, my father worked with Russian engineers to perfect the science of mining in Iran. They brought him a gift, a Haggadah shel Pesach, a Passover book, in Hebrew translated into Russian.
For the past 45 years of my life that I can recall, I have read from that book with my father each year. We both read the Hebrew and have no understanding of the Russian. Over the years, new children have come and grown into our Seder and some loved ones have passed.
I am sure that the man who gifted the book to my father had and has no idea that this very book would travel with us from Iran to England to America, continent to continent, and guide us through the order of the blessings. Much like the Hebrews left Egypt, so did we.
This week, as I watched the Cathédrale Notre-Dame burn, I once again remembered how we Jews have no massive memorials. We have a broken Wall, and even then, they try to take that from us. What we do have is far more lasting than any tall buildings or majestic monuments. We have words and we have books.
We have traditions based on words that can be carried in a handbag and in our hearts, even as we run away from home.
And, perhaps home is not a place, but those familiar words, those comforting traditions, the shared memories that tug at our hearts when we break Matzah with loved ones. I always get sentimental when I fast. Praying for health- mental, physical, spiritual- and peace.