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  • Writer's pictureSimone Ellin

Is a peaceful seder possible in wartime?

Back in November, about six weeks after the October 7 massacre in Israel, I wrote an essay about the intergenerational conflict occurring in my family because of opposing opinions about the war in Gaza. At the time, my mother, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor and my daughter, a 27-year-old member of the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace saw the war in vastly different ways. As the death toll in Gaza has risen, my mother has moved closer to my daughter's position.

As for me? I remain deeply disturbed and extremely ambivalent about the war. I still find myself vacillating between my horror at the events of Oct. 7, my fears about growing antisemitism and my anguish over the deaths of 33,000 people in Gaza.

In the November piece, that was published by USA Today just before Thanksgiving, I wondered how my family and others in similar situations would fare at their holiday celebrations. I am posting the piece here, because the issues identified in my essay, are even more pertinent now, as Jews prepare for family seders where Israel and issues of oppression and freedom are most definitely on the menu. Apologies to those who have already read this piece.

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