Passover’s Promises for My Children

When I married into a Jewish family, antisemitism hit home. Now, the holy day reminds me of our future hope.

On October 7, 2023, my mother-in-law called.

“Have you seen the news?” she asked urgently. “Terrorists have attacked Israel. Where are the kids? Are they at home with you? Can you keep them home from school this week?”

She knows antisemitism all too well. Her husband is a Jew who traces his lineage back to the tribe of Levi. His ancestors immigrated to America from Poland and Russia in the early 1900s. They maintained their heritage and ancient faith through centuries of opposition, faithfully attending synagogue, reading from the Torah, and celebrating holidays such as Passover. They broke bread and drank wine in remembrance of when God rescued their people out of slavery in Egypt.

Today, my father-in-law is a Christian. As we break the matzoh, we remember Jesus, whose body was broken for us. As we drink the wine, we remember his blood poured out for the salvation of many. This meal, while it reminds us of our Savior who freed us from slavery to sin, is also a promise of what is to come. For the generations who have suffered, this meal is a reminder of God’s redemption. It gives us hope.

Though he rarely talks about it, my father-in-law has told us stories about his childhood growing up in Miami. His family went to synagogue every Saturday, and he and his Jewish friends attended Hebrew school five days a week. His father owned a grocery store in the 1950s and ’60s, working sunup to sundown every day except the Sabbath. He supported his family in a community where Jewish, Black, and Hispanic people were often unwelcome.

“I remember going to the beach and seeing signs on the bathroom doors that read, ‘No dogs or Jews allowed,’” my father-in-law told me. “I remember …

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