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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Why is This Year Different?

Each Passover, at the Seder, a child is chosen to ask the special question, "Why is this night different from all the other nights?"

This year, as Jews mark the liberation of Israel from bondage, people around the world struggle to be free from worry over layoffs, rising costs, foreclosures and evictions.

Many are turning to God during these uncertain times. I loved an email I recently received from a Jewish reader, and thought Passover would be the perfect time to share.

This is from Stafford resident Anna Victoria Reich.  


I would like to say that in these past weeks, months, and few years with the economy being tight, miserable and very depressing, to see the many ways this has effected my emotional health, I have turned over the page and have begun opening the gate to practicing my religion deeper than before.  

I have a holy bible or in our religion this is called the “Siddur” that contains many wonderful blessings to read and feed your soul with nourishing blessings. I place the siddur by my bedside which I read many of the blessings for the morning, in the morning and many of the blessings for the evening, in the evening before retiring to bed more often now. Here, I give thanks to the Almighty for letting me wake up and face the day and its challenges and thank the Almighty for letting me close the day with prayers.

 Religion has played a big role in my life for me but during the past couple of years when economy began to fall and many things were not going right, I turned to religion to break my negative thinking and make me feel better.  Just hearing all the news with the media has turned me to think that there will be a positive outcome with all of this.   Ever since I have started to think about the way religion has played a role with today’s daily life’s problems I am planning to be more active with my place of worship. This has taken years for me to do but it is never too late to start again! I am going to show myself that religion can calm my worries and feelings about many things in life and help me from being depressed and worrying so much about things I have no control over. G-d has control and I will have to give the Almighty my worries.

 As it says in the bible, “When one door closes, there is a window that will open.” I truly believe that.  I also say to myself many times a day there will be a positive outcome from all this worrying and economical problems in the world. We have to give time and the time will come when things turn out for the best.  This is what I have begun to understand as I have become more religious, whether or not I go to the temple of worship or still pray in my house to myself where G-d can hear me. I sure do feel that I am giving the Almighty my problems and this is making me have less weight to carry around in my mind, heart and all around me!


In other Passover news, the AP reports about a Seder that President Obama has planned for tonight.