Reflections of Shnat Hachshara participants on Passover around 7/10 and the Iron Swords War

Hello everyone! Pesach sameach! My name is Ilana, I’m 18 years old and I’m a bogueret from Hanoar Hatzioni in Uruguay. 

I would like to share a few words about the chag. 

As we all know, on Pesach, we celebrate the liberation of our people from Miztraim after years of slavery. Moshe, being chosen by G-d, leads the Jewish people for forty years through the desert until they reach the Promised Land, and later, the united people manage to settle throughout Eretz Israel. 

We celebrate Pesach through the seder, in which, as we know, there are symbols of the chag such as the Kearah, the Haggadah with its different sections, the matzah that we divide into Cohen, Levi and Israel, the Afikoman, of which we all have memories from our childhood, and the mitzvah of Hagadat Lebanecha, where it is our duty to teach about the history of Pesach to future generations.

I find a significant parallel between this mitzvah in the Haggadah story and our task as madrichim in tnuah; just as we have to educate about the history of our people in Egyptian slavery “Avadim ainu le paró bemitzraim”, and about liberation “Achvshav bnei chorin, bnei chorin”, we must as bogrim of tnuot noar transmit our tnuati history (as well as that of the Jewish people and of Israel) from generation to generation to ensure the continuity of our tnuati ideology. This means enriching the democratic, Jewish and pluralistic aspects of the chanichim so that they can manifest them and feel the Zionism that each one of us feels proudly. 

More than ever, in these times, we consider of extreme importance the teaching and continuation of these values in Hanoar Hatzioní and in our community in general. Since October 7th the history of Am Israel has changed forever. This is why we need to adapt to our present and act upon it, raising awareness and educating but also moving into action and activism in every possible arena; to tell our story so that it is not erased and not repeated and that even 2000 years down the road, October 7th will still be talked about just as we talk about Yetziat Mitzraim every year.

In conclusion, I would like each one of us as Jews, chalutzim and chaverim of our tnuot to raise ourselves to the height of this difficult moment that our people are suffering through education, pioneering and union among all of us. 

Chag pesach kasher vesameach,

¡Chazak ve’ematz!


October 7th was a turning point in our life as a people and as a nation. For this Pesach seder I would like us to rethink some of the terms we use in Chag and how this year they have changed from now and forever. 

Kadesh: let’s toast, let’s toast to Am Israel, let’s toast because we can be here and let’s toast to the liberation of the Hebrew people in Egypt, as well as to the upcoming release of the 133 hostages still held hostage in Gaza after 6 months. 

Ha Lachmah Aniyah: the opening of the chag, “this is the bread of poverty”. The seder begins by reminding us of the humiliation, hatred, disgust and discrimination towards Hebrews specifically on Pesach but this can be seen reflected in many instances in our history. Immediately following, however, comes the mitzvah that deals with “let all who are hungry pass through and eat, let all who are needy pass through and celebrate Pesach”. Today we are obligated to extend that hand to all those who are in need in Eretz Israel, displaced people, relatives who lost a loved one or have someone close to them kidnapped or any other person who this year has no way to fulfill the mitzvah of the seder. 

Maguid: Let’s tell stories, let’s tell our story. Pesach not only gives us the opportunity to tell the story of our ancestors, but also to speak for those who have no voice, to sing the songs for those who are not at our seder now, those who are missing from the table but not from our heads. 

Ma nishtana: ma nishtana haila haze? What is different tonight? Let us ask. Let’s ask how they are, how we are, let’s ask stories, let’s ask how the seder has changed from last year to this one. Let’s not stay with doubts, asking is key to know, to learn, to remember and to help. Let’s ask ourselves, how has my identity changed, has my Jewishness been put at stake by the current situation, how has my Zionism changed, how has it changed? Let us even ask questions to which we have no answer: why is so much bloodshed in the world? Why can we not take a Jewish state for granted? When will there be peace and brotherhood in the world? Why are we again the culprit and/or the scapegoat?

10 plagues: we all know the famous 10 plagues that God sent as proof that we are the chosen people, but what are our current plagues? 

1- Anti-Semitism 

2- Disinformation 

3- “free palestine” trend

4- Hamas 

5- Anti-Zionism 

6- Jews who do nothing regarding October 7 

7- Non-release of the 133 hostages still held captive in Gaza

8- Missiles 

9- Ignorance 

10- Death of more than 1200 people

Afikoman: the mitzva where the children search for half of the matza that was split in the yachatz. Kfir and Ariel Bibas are still in captivity so they will not be able to search for the afikoman this year. Let us pray and ask for their release and search for the afikoman on their behalf so that next year they can search for it themselves at home.

Barech: barech is the part in the seder in which we give thanks. Not only is there a specific part for this in the seder but Yehudi besides coming from Yehuda also comes from the word lehodot which means to thank, so let us be thankful, let us be thankful that Eretz Israel exists, let us be thankful that we were able to live Shnat Hachshara despite the situation, let us be thankful that we are well and healthy, let us be thankful that we have an army that is constantly working to keep the situation under control and that we have the miluim that returned to the camp to take care of us. Let us be thankful for what we have and thankful for the good things to come. 

Nirtza: the final chapter of the Haggadah, in which the wish is expressed that everything done during the night has been to God’s pleasure. Ending with a joint prayer: leshaná habaá birushalaim habenuiá (Next year in Jerusalem rebuilt). This year let us say this prayer with the intention that not only Jerusalem will be rebuilt but also all the kibbutzim, all the houses that were destroyed, let us say it with the intention that next year the kidnapped especially Yao and Eitu will be with us and that the war will end. 

Am Israel Chai y Chazak ve’ematz

My name is Valentina Leszcz, I am 18 years old and I am a bogueret of Chazit Hanoar Uruguay.

Pesach is a very important moment in the history of the Jewish people. We celebrate our freedom after years of slavery, and we remember the departure from Egypt. 

At the Pesach seder, the importance of remembering our history is emphasized. Yet, the focus is not only on not forgetting what happened, but also on educating the younger people at the seder so that they are interested in learning about history. 

As madrichim of the tnuot noar, it is very important for us to know the history of our people so that we can teach our chanichim. Just as we need to know our history, we also need to have this ability to inspire others to want to know it, to want to ask questions and learn how to do it, thus creating a curious and positive spirit about learning.

In today’s landscape, the importance of being informed is even greater. As madrichim, we have a responsibility to be informed about the current conflict in order to properly educate our chanichim about it. The chanichim need to understand what is going on in Israel, as this is also part of their history.

At the seder we always talk about the fact that it was us who left Egypt, not them. We constantly stress this idea that we are all one people, and what happened on Pesach is part of everyone’s history.

I feel that today this sense of a people is even stronger. What happens in Israel affects us all, we all feel part of it, we feel the pain, the anguish, the worry. That is why the feeling of people is also crucial to help each other and go forward united, as we left Egypt.

The chag of Pesach also shows resilience and perseverance, fundamental qualities in these times, which we are having the privilege of witnessing first hand in Israeli society, and in the Jewish people as a whole. Qualities that as madrichim are essential to overcome the challenges we face in our tnuati life. 

To close, I believe that one of the greatest teachings that Pesach leaves us is freedom. Today more than ever, thinking of all those who were or are being deprived of their freedom, all those kidnapped who will not have a Pesach seder with their families, we have to value our freedom and not take it for granted. In this way, I invite each one of us to reflect on how much we value our freedom, and how much we are using it to take an active role and give our grain of sand during the horror we are living as a people.

Thank you very much, Am Israel Chai and Chag HaPesach Sameach❤.

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