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Just as Jews have wandered from country to country during our long exile, so too has the Haggadah traveled over mountains and across seas. But while almost every vintage Haggadah has a story of exile and escape, some are more incredible than others — such as the stories of these four Haggados, which are still making headlines.
While the Communist forefathers would have been happy to see Judaism wiped out, Stalin’s Soviet inheritors actually agreed to open a yeshivah just a short walk from Red Square. Under the acute surveillance of the secret police, the yeshivah didn’t attract many students, but one rabbi in Tel Aviv still bears the torch of its short-lived and virtually unknown legacy — and shares what it was like to be a KGB informant in the beis medrash.
You’ve changed your life around, transformed your inner self, and have embarked on the road to a mainstream Torah life. But who will understand you on the other side of the divide? Will those who have been religious all their lives even begin to relate? A community shul in Los Angeles carries baalei teshuvah to the next level, while keeping them on familiar territory.
In every generation, a Jew is commanded to envision himself as if he went out of his own exile. It could be exile of the spirit, or the more gruesome exile of the body. What does the instant of liberation feel like? Tenacious Holocaust survivors relive their moment of freedom.