Sivan Rahav-Meir
Sivan Rahav-Meirצילום: אייל בן יעיש

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

I was a young teenager when I began to keep kosher. As Pesach drew near, my dear parents thought it would be much easier for me to observe Pesach according to halakha (Jewish law) with my uncle, Amos Guetta, in Rome. And so I arrived at the home of Amos and Smadar and their daughters, was introduced to the Jewish community of Rome, and attended services at Beit El, their Tripolitanian synagogue.

Seder night was full of their customs and the following night there was a second Seder, as is done in the Diaspora. It was the first Pesach when I went an entire week without eating chametz.

Last night I returned to the same synagogue to speak. It was not in the plans of that girl from Israel to return here one day and deliver a Torah talk, but now I had come full circle.

I began by thanking the members of the Beit El synagogue for that first Pesach 25 years earlier. I said that this was what Pesach was all about - to invite, to host, to include others.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once said: "Our purpose on Pesach is to transform history into biography." To connect ourselves - and as many other people as we can - to our common story.