Firstly I would like to wish you all a Chag Pesach Kasher V’Sameach! I look forward to celebrating our second Pesach at South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation. Once again we will be having a second night communal seder, Pesach Kiddushim and a great kids program on both days. I hope you have a meaningful and inspiring Yom Tov!

I would like to share something I recently wrote on social media.

I recently injured myself and ironically it was from doing push ups over a skipping(jump) rope at a recent wedding! Fortunately it’s a small fracture in the palm of my hand and it is only a few weeks till it recovers iy”h!

I’m very appreciative of the concern and interest that people have shown me when seeing my hand and genuinely inquiring after my well-being.

There was a concern that I have had, however, by a few comments made to me over the past few days. I understand it was said as a joke but the reality is jokes like these should just not be said. I’m referring to a few people saying things like “I can see you’ve taught your wife a lesson” or “ did you break it hitting your wife because she wasn’t behaving?”

The very sad and painful reality is that there are people who are in abusive relationships and as a society we have to make sure we never see this as something which isn’t of the utmost seriousness.

We are approaching Pesach at the end of the week – a time where we speak about freedom. We need to take a moment to think about all those who will likely not feel very free over the holiday. There are those who will feel completely trapped with nowhere to go. They will remain in fear, alone and scared. Worrying on a daily basis for their own safety or the safety of their children is a horrible thing to have to live through. This is not freedom.

There also are women (and men) who are stuck in relationships because their partners won’t give them a Gett. In fact I’m trying to assist a family whose daughter has been trying to get divorced for 2 years. Her husband is simply being recalcitrant and in my opinion this is abusive behaviour. This is not freedom.

Many of us will be fortunate to enjoy a beautiful Chag surrounded by family, friends and community. Let’s however make Pesach even more meaningful by doing something for those who will not be as fortunate. If you have any influence to assist someone in need, support a relevant cause or do anything else that could be of benefit to others, then do it!

May our efforts merit that we are all blessed L’shana Ha’baah Beyerushalayim, next year in Jerusalem, emotionally, psychologically and of course physically too!

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a beautiful Pesach

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