A Montana Rabbi’s Passover Message
Given all of the division in the country right now, it was great to catch up with Rabbi Chaim Bruk. He heads up the Jewish synagogue in Bozeman and joined us to share his Passover message, as the holiday officially begins at sundown Wednesday night.
His message this Passover: just like we celebrate the freedom of the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt, Rabbi Chaim is hoping Montanans can free themselves of an internal slavery.
Rabbi Chaim: There is internal slavery. That is the greatest form of slavery, where people believe- where they stop believing that they have hope. They stop believing that they can free themselves from whatever limitations or bondage they placed themselves in, or have been placed on them by their reality of their life. And they just give up- the despair. The Jewish people were harshly enslaved for 210 years under the Pharaoh in Egypt, and many of them did give up. But God didn't give up on them.
I also talked with Rabbi Chaim about the crazy, divisive issues in the news. When we think about the Passover story, and the Jewish people being freed from slavery- there's also a story of that's often repeated in the Bible about how often we forget and go back to our old routines. I added that despite what we just came through with COVID-19 in the past three years, it seems like so many people forget what we just came out of, and how crazy things could get yet again if the American people allow ourselves to be divided. Our nation's enemies WILL take notice.
Rabbi Chaim: We can't afford division that will take us to a place of no return. We can't afford it. It's wrong. Humility is not weakness. We have to show humility and compassion and find ways to work together even with those who we don't necessarily agree with politically or religiously.
I then joked about how one of my favorite Christian pastors talked once about how you can love people, even if you don't necessarily like some people. The rabbi then mentioned how a rabbi marriage counselor was once in Bozeman and talked about the same concept.
Rabbi Chaim: My plea this Passover, as we enter tonight this incredible festival of freedom, is to remember that we are a nation of people. And for a nation to survive, whether it's the Jewish nation, the American nation- there needs to be some level of brotherhood and sisterhood and level of unity and the minute we step too far away, when we start seeing each other as being part of two totally different nations- that's when our...that's when the Roman Empire falls. And there's never a moment you say, I looked at American politics- and we're done. No we're not!
Check out the full audio of our chat below:
Plus, Rabbi Chaim also mentioned an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He sent it out via Twitter below.