Passover is a holiday of blood and fire, of sacrifice and Exodus, of when the Jewish people sit around the dining room table to celebrate the violent triumph of our Israelite ancestors over our ancient Egyptian oppressors. Some holidays are raucous, like Purim, and some are somber, like Yom Kippur. But not Passover. This is a holiday of triumph, not forgiveness.
So one must feel, at some level, sorry for President Donald Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer. When Spicer made gaffe after gaffe from the White House podium about the Holocaust — and did it on the second day of Passover — he couldn’t have picked a worse time to upset American Jews.
Nearly 25 years ago I traveled to Poland to participate in the March of the Living, to “study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance and hate,” as the program’s website explains.
Our group visited Nazi death camps and Jewish ghost towns, seeking to gain a better understanding of the destruction that happened there. In every place we visited, we could feel the presence of lost Jewish life.