Elijah the Prophet traditionally visits every Passover seder to partake of a sip of a special wine cup reserved for his enjoyment. During the telling of the story of the Exodus, Jews open their door and invite Elijah to join them. Such an invitation is a symbol of Jewish hospitality and an acknowledgment of Elijah’s role as a harbinger of redemption.
When we open the door to him, we sing:
Elijah the Prophet
Elijah the Tishbite [from the village of Tishbe]
Elijah the Giladi
Quickly and in our day
He will come to us
With the messiah son of David
For all the above reasons, this dark Passover joke circulated by anti-Occupation activists among Israelis is especially telling. A note of explanation: Gilead in ancient times was approximately where the northern West Bank is currently located:
ישראלים, אם אליהו הנביא לא בא אל שולחן הסדר שלכם, זה אולי בגלל שצה”ל מנע ממנו לעבור את המחסום
Israelis: if Elijah the Prophet didn’t come to your Passover table it may be because the IDF prevented him from crossing the checkpoint.
H/t Ali Abunimah, Sol Salbe
Related articles by Zemanta
- Happy Passover, Palestine! (mondoweiss.net)