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A rabbi who is reaching people all over the world through videos is stressing faith, hope and understanding as Passover begins this year amid the turmoil in and around Israel, including the recent strikes on that country by missiles and drones sent by Iran last Saturday, Friday’s retaliatory strikes by Israel at Iran — and the ongoing antisemitism all over the globe toward Jewish people.   

Rabbi Warren Goldstein, chief rabbi of South Africa, grew up in Pretoria and was the youngest person to be elected to this position in 2005, at age 33. 

He is also a judge with a PhD in human rights and constitutional law.

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He told Fox News Digital he’s always been moved by the scriptural quote, “It’s not in the sky … It’s in your heart” (Deuteronomy 30) because he applies the spiritual principals of heaven to the physical realm. 

The videos the rabbi posts online about world events and politics help people grasp a better understanding of what’s really happening behind the scenes, he said, in a spiritual dimension they can’t see.

For instance, in a video titled “Searching for meaning in a post-October 7 Pesach (Passover),” he described the miraculous survival of the Jewish people during Passover, which begins this year at sundown on April 22. 

The holiday recalls that more than 3,300 years ago, Moses was instructed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land of Israel by performing a series of miracles, as described in Exodus. 

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Says Rabbi Goldstein in his video on YouTube, “We were freed not through any liberation movement or natural process, but through the miracles of God, through the 10 plagues, the splitting of the sea, a fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham.” 

“There is something much bigger at play. It is … a great civilizational battle that touches on the essence of who we are.”

Many people consider the thwarted Iranian attack on April 13, 2024, to be a pre-Passover miracle reminiscent of biblical times. 

Iran struck Israel with more than 300 missiles and drones — but 99% of them were struck down by Israel’s missile defense system with the aid of American, French, British and Jordan air-defense forces, as multiple sources reported.

Missiles over Israel

A seven-year-old Bedouin girl was hit by shrapnel and is in critical condition. She was the only person seriously injured in the attacks, according to reports.

Rabbi Goldstein said in his video on that attack, “A few days ago, as the night sky across the Middle East lit up with the deadly barrage of drones and missiles being shot down, halting Iran’s genocidal intent in its tracks, it was clear to all that I said at the beginning of this conflict: This has never been about Gaza or the Palestinian cause. There is something much bigger at play. It is a war with Iran, a war of values, a great civilizational battle that touches on the essence of who we are.”

“It all seems so surreal, what we’ve been through over these more than six months.”

He said the survival of the Jewish people has always been a mystery. 

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Jews comprise less than 1% of the world’s population, according to a 2023 Aish report. They’ve been persecuted for more than two centuries by the Romans, the Russian Cossacks, the Egyptians and the Spanish Inquisitors — and are now facing the enemy of Iran and its terrorist proxies. 

Said Goldstein, “None of the tools and principles that historians have used to analyze the trends of history are useful when it comes to the Jewish people. For a start, we shouldn’t even be here.”

Pro-Israel Rally

The rabbi shared how shocked and bewildered the Jewish community around the world has been since the Oct. 7, 2023 terror attacks. 

“It all seems so surreal, what we’ve been through over these more than six months,” he said. 

“Antisemitism is marked by its “unrelenting persistence for centuries, and its unique viciousness,” said one rabbi. 

After about 1,200 people in Israel were massacred and 253 kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, a vitriolic wave of antisemitism rose up across the globe, including on many of America’s college campuses — accompanied by more threats of genocide to the Jewish people.

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In his video, Rabbi Goldstein says antisemitism is marked by its “unrelenting persistence for centuries, and its unique viciousness.” 

Jewish students on college campuses, he said, are feeling bewildered and some are wondering if adhering to Judaism is worth the pain and the danger. 

Pro-Palestine protesters demonstrate along NYPD police lines outside of Columbia University’s campus

He described some of them as getting to the point of “seeking a way out of all of this by exiting our people.” 

Jews around the world “shouldn’t allow ourselves to be defined by the hatred of others or by their antisemitism,” said the rabbi to Fox News Digital. 

The Seder is a ceremonial meal symbolically reenacting the trials and tribulations the Israelites faced as they were leaving Egypt.

He referred to Passover as “the festival of freedom and human dignity from oppression” — and said he believes that the Seder is the perfect opportunity to connect with the spiritual meaning of what it is to be Jewish.

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The Seder is a ceremonial meal symbolically reenacting the trials and tribulations the Israelites faced as they were leaving Egypt. Matzoh, which is unleavened bread, is always eaten at a Passover Seder. 

It’s a commemoration of how the Israelites were so rushed to escape Egypt that they didn’t have time to wait for the dough to rise as they were baking bread. 

seder foods for Passover

Bitter herbs are eaten as reminders of the harsh conditions of slavery. 

Charoset, a mixture of honey, apples and walnuts, symbolizes the mortar the Israelites used to lay bricks, while its sweetness is a reminder to have hope and to be optimistic through adversity. 

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Four cups of wine are also consumed to honor the four times God promised the Israelites He would take them out of Egypt and redeem them.

“Understanding that the story of our people is taking place on another plane [is] living proof of the presence of God.”

Rabbi Goldstein said in his video that everything that’s happened throughout history to the Jewish people, including antisemitism, was predicted thousands of years ago. 

Passover foods and tradition of seder

He recited the lyrics to a Passover song, Vehi Sheamda (“This is what has stood by our fathers and us”): “Not only one arose to destroy us, but in every generation they rise up to destroy us. And the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hands.”

The song is from the Haggadah, a 2,500-year-old book that means “telling” in Hebrew. 

It is read during the Passover Seder because it tells the story of the exodus of the Israelites out of slavery.

The rabbi said “the somewhat discomforting words” of Vehi Sheamda are sung at Seder tables “with joy and pride, glasses raised in defiance, and with clarity of purpose.” 

Rabbi Goldstein of South Africa

Goldstein made his video, he said, because world events are being seen through a narrow political and military lens — and he believes it’s crucial to zoom out and look at them from a spiritual perspective. 

“The supernatural suffering and success our people have experienced for millennia was predicted in the Torah. Understanding that the story of our people is taking place on another plane [is] living proof of the presence of God,” said the rabbi. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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