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My parents were taken hostage on 7 October. This Passover, we pray for leaders who bring dignity and peace | Sharone Lifschitz

My family’s kibbutz was devastated. After 200 dark days, we need to expand our compassion, to recognise each other’s pain

Passover has an intensity I have always cherished. I love the sense of community, family, tradition, inclusivity and togetherness. We mark it with a ceremonial meal – the Seder – with rituals, special foods and a communal reading of the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. In London, we invite a joyous array of guests, Jewish and not Jewish, and find creative ways to interpret the story of the path to freedom.

Each year we are encouraged to reflect: “In each and every generation a person is obliged to regard himself as if he had come out of Egypt.” This line from the Haggadah asks us to empathise with the freed Hebrew slaves, to put ourselves in their shoes. It is the thread that binds our generation to all those who came before us.

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