On Saturday night during Pesach, Rabbi Aviya Rozen, the head of Midreshet Shiluv in Natur, and student Daniel Hen were interviewed on Army Radio about Chalom Cherut (A Dream of Freedom), the new Haggada that students from the mechina produced while volunteering in the citrus fruit harvest during the coronavirus crisis. In the days before Seder night, the mechina’s students came forward to help agricultural businesses in kibbutzim near Gaza harvest the citrus crop.
In the preface to the Haggada, Rabbi Rozen writes: “We are not telling the story. Rather, we are a part of it. The Haggada begins with the declaration that ‘this is the humble bread that our ancestors ate in Egypt.… This year we are here (in exile); next year, in the Land of Israel.…’ We’ve reached the part of the story where we need to change the introduction: ‘This year we are here, in the Land of Israel.’ Now we are in the Land of Israel, gathering up the accumulated load of a generations-long journey, and now we must give it realization in the emergent reality of the nation of Israel ensconced in its land. A Haggada of our own is a declaration that this is our story. We are a part of it, and now, with our actions, we are writing the next link in the chain of generations.”
“A person enters quarantine not to protect himself, but to protect the public,” said Rabbi Rozen in the interview. “This not a private issue. It is a national and global one. Within this is our own unique story, where mutual responsibility became something very powerful. I’m proud of my students, who were able at the end of a day of agricultural work to sit down and write a Haggada despite the load they were carrying.”
Listen to the complete interview (Hebrew):