Passoverצילום: ISTOCK

When Arab terrorists killed five students and their teacher in 1956 in the midst of prayer at a vocational school in Kfar Chabad, Israel, where I was born and raised, some residents wondered whether it was time to abandon the fledgling village.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe responded by sending twelve students to Kfar Chabad as his personal representatives, and by encouraging the villagers to continue building and growing.

Iranian’s unprecedented missile attack on Israel comes just before Passover, when the Jewish people will recite the words in the Haggadah, “B’chol dor v’dor omdim aleinu l’chaloteinu - In every generation, they rise to destroy us, but G-d saves us every time.”

On Passover, we recall that Pharaoh’s ignorance and hate led him to enslave the Israelites. We remember Moses and Aaron advocating for their people’s freedom, and the strength and determination shown in the face of uncertainty when freedom was finally won. We eat food that symbolizes the pain of the Israelites as well as those who suffered around them during the fight for freedom. We sing to echo the joy felt at the moment of liberation before stepping forward towards the hope of a better life.

Jews and non-Jews alike have marveled at our miraculous survival despite enduring the evil of antisemitism. Our tiny nation’s continuity, while all the greatest empires of the world have come and gone, remains a powerful confirmation that a Higher Power ensures our survival and our destiny.

The Passover liberation story is at the core of Jewish values. As Jews, we need to unite as one to fight discrimination and to neutralize the constant threat to our heritage, our humanity, and our existence.

What is the Jewish way to fight antisemitism? Our focus is on spreading love and the meaning of our faith, and to support all those seeking freedom from persecution.

In the early 1970s, the Jewish Federation of North America decided to launch a campaign to the entire Jewish world to establish a custom for every family to add an empty chair to their Seder table. The chair would indicate that if not for the Holocaust, where we lost six million Jews, there would have been another Jew sitting there.

Recognizing the influence of the worldwide Chabad movement, the Federation leaders asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe ob”m to have the huge network of Chabad representatives spread the idea of the empty chair worldwide.

The Rebbe’s answer stunned the Federation leaders.

“Your idea of adding a chair is very important, and I’m ready to join the call,” the Rebbe said. “But there is one condition - the extra chair should not be empty, but filled.

“The goal of the Nazis was for fewer and fewer Jews to be alive to celebrate their Jewishness. To reverse this decree, ask Jewish people today to add a chair to their table and to fill it with a Jew, who, if not for this invitation, would not have celebrated the Seder. This is the real response to the Holocaust.”

Now more than ever, the Jewish community needs to continue building and growing.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Yossi Kahana is the director of Leaders of Light, a project of Beth Rivkah, Chabad’s global women’s leadership education.