This crisply handwritten “Chametz on Passover Prayer” from Bergen Belsen Passover 5704 was on display at the Ghetto Fighters Museum in
Tel-Aviv. It was written or at least dictated by Rabbi Aharon Bernard Davids, leader of the Dutch community of Holland.
It translates to something like this: Before eating Chametz say the following with intent & devotion:
Our Father in Heaven! It is known to You that we desire to fulfill Your will and observe the Passover holiday by eating Matzah and
safeguarding against Chametz. But our hearts are pained at the captivity which prevents us, and we find ourselves in danger of our
lives. We are hereby ready to fulfill Your commandments “And you shall live by them (the commandments)” and not die by them, and to observe
the caution of “guard yourself and watch your soul/life very much.” Therefore our prayer to You is that You keep us alive, and sustain us,
and redeem us speedily, so that we may observe Your laws and fulfill Your will and serve You with a full heart. Amen!
And then these Jews gathered around Rabbi Davids in Bergen-Belsen and ate their meager ration of bread on the night of Passover.
This is something to think about when we are midway through Passover, in midst of all the freedom and plenty that America has to offer. This
prayer and its background story offers us perspective. How we can think after a few days of a wonderful holiday that “we’re sick of