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Thursday, March 21, 2013

The olive as symbol

The far Leftist Jewish Voice for Peace suggests leaving an olive on your seder table for the 'Palestinians.'
Passover has become a complicated holiday for me. I am still moved and inspired by the recounting of the Exodus. But the irony of celebrating Jewish freedom and deliverance into Israel, especially when, in today’s Israel, it is the Palestinians who face oppression at the hands of the Israelis, makes it painful. Yet it also renews my commitment to pursue the kind of justice that the story of Exodus teaches us is part of our legacy.
I bring this commitment to the Seder by including an olive on my Seder plate. The olive tree is a universal and ancient symbol of hope and peace. And sadly, the destruction of Palestinian olive trees by Israeli settlers and the Israeli army is just one example of the way that Israeli policies systematically deny Palestinians of even their most basic rights.
Of course, her argument is a bunch of lies. But leaving an olive on your seder plate is not a bad idea. The olive reminds us of the oil in the Menorah in the Temple, of the oil used to anoint the High Priest in the Temple, and of the minimum portion of various foods that must be eaten in the Jewish tradition, including several at the seder itself.

All of which, of course demonstrates the ancient connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, which far predates the existence of anything called a 'Palestinian.'


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