Yesterday (Tuesday), Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, in collaboration with Aish Global, hosted a mock Passover Seder in the United Nations with the participation of 70 Ambassadors from around the world. Traditional holiday foods were served, excerpts from the Haggadah were read, and the Ambassadors learned about the traditions and customs associated with the holiday. The event was initiated by Ambassador Erdan with the aim of strengthening the familiarity of Judaism and Jewish traditions and values among the Ambassadors. The United States Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Ukraine's Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya were among the participants.
In his remarks Ambassador Erdan said, "At the Seder we are commanded to retell the Exodus as if we ourselves were slaves in Egypt and we ourselves were brought out by the hand of God. This is how the Exodus becomes a collective memory for every Jew around the globe. But even more than that, the Exodus – going from slavery to freedom – has become the universal theme of liberation for all people, Jews and non-Jews alike.
"It is not only the story of Jewish emancipation and nationhood; it is also the story of Jewish Statehood – the legitimate right of the Jewish people coming home to the land that God promised us. Today, the Modern State of Israel is the continuation of that very same Exodus. And it is a story of great success:
"When every Jewish family retells the story of our journey from being slaves in Egypt, to free people in Zion, we remind the world that Israel has been, is, and always will be the homeland of the Jewish people."
The Ambassador added, "Many see the UN as the body that “granted” the Jewish people a State, back in 1947. But my people were not given the deed to the Holy Land by the General Assembly’s right – we were given it by divine right. The Jewish people’s bond to the land was born with God’s promise to Abraham, our forefather, and it was the Exodus that made this promise a reality.
Today we are sharing this ancient Jewish tradition with you, not only to remember where my people came from, but also to recognize where we are going. May this year be a year of freedom for all people around the world: from Ukraine, to the people of Iran, and beyond!"