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    Opening the door

    doorOpening the door for Elijah is a harmless piece of fun for many families. But not everywhere.

    Life is not always so simple and safe. Leave your front door open even for a few moments and you never know what trouble may enter.

    Our ancestors knew this well. Fear of hostile mobs at Pesach-Easter time was endemic. Yet it is davka then that the door must be opened, to show our faith in Divine protection on leil shimmurim, the “night of watchfulness”, hoping against hope that those who enter a Jewish home will come with peaceful intent, to see the beauty of Jewish life and find that the old accusations like the blood libel are totally baseless.

    We open the door for Elijah, not only because he is the Divinely-appointed guardian of Israel but because when he arrives the Mashiach will not be far behind.

    But to bring him and make him welcome it is not only Jews who have to open doors at one season of the year, but all human beings who can bring freedom and hope to civilisation through opening metaphorical doors – the doors of ideas, education, democracy and faith that will expand our thinking, raise our sights, help us strive for excellence, and enable us to see the infinite possibilities in other people and to know that in the end a moral principle always prevails.

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