Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

‘matzah of Hope’ for Soviet Jewry

March 22, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

That the Jews of the Soviet Union may know that they have not been forgotten and that all Jews are one in brotherhood, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the Commission on Soviet Jewry and Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and the Pittsburgh Conference on Soviet Jewry are urging that the “Matzah of Hope” be recited in public seders, in congregations and in home seders. The suggestion for reciting this prayer for Soviet Jews is that the leader of the service takes up the matzo, sets it aside, and says:

“This is the ‘Matzah of Hope.’ This matzo, which we set aside as a symbol of hope for the Jews of the Soviet Union, reminds us of the indestructible links that exist between us. As we observe this festival of freedom, we know that Soviet Jews are not free: to leave without harassment; to learn of their past; to pass on their religious traditions; to learn the languages of their fathers; to train the teachers and rabbis of future generations.

“We remember with bitterness the scores of Jewish prisoners of conscience who sought to live as Jews and struggled to leave for Israel the land of our fathers–but now languish in bondage in Soviet labor camps. Their struggle against their oppressors is part of an ongoing effort, and they shall know that they have not been forgotten. As Soviet Jews assert themselves they are joined by all who are aroused by their affliction. We will continue until they emerge into the light of freedom.” in addition to the prayer, it was also suggested that an empty chair be set aside at each seder to dramatize the plight of the more than 40 Jewish prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union.

NBC-TV Network will present an “Eternal Light” special, “Passover in Jerusalem,” Sunday, March 26 (12-12:30 p.m. NYT). Three young students representing different cultures will share their unique experience of celebrating Passover in Jerusalem.

Recommended from JTA