Monday, April 6, 2020

A Passover Seder in Prison, 1941

From an article by Menachem Begin published in Herut, April 11, 1960 on the Seder Evening he spent in Lukashki Prison, Vilna, 1941

We conducted a Seder even in the prison. It was quite disorganized.* There were no matzot, no wine. Bitter herbs we had plenty, of course.

Here is the bread of affliction. Bread not quite bread. But very afflicted. We drank for cups as instructed but not according to the rule. We drank the bitter liquid which in the revolutionary jail is called `coffee`. We left it from the evening until the morn. As if it was a Paschal sacrifice, sort of.

We did not invite all who wish to come. How would they get in? More importantly, how would they get out?

We did not say that none will question and none will reply. Queries, more than four, we asked and attempted to respond to. What we recalled of the Haggadah text we said.

And we believed in the Haggadah. Today a slave, next year a free human. Now here, we are here. Next year in Jerusalem, in Jerusalem.


* A play on the meaning of Seder - Order.

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