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12 April, 2019

About Pesach and the Youth Strengthening Program

By Esther Chelger

We usually hear how difficult it is to be young in today’s world. It is a category that is acquired when it is time to unfold the wings, fly towards our own destination, and detach from the safe protection of the family nest…

Pesach is coming, and this reminds us when the Israelites marched to Eretz Israel, our place, our Being. By participating in the Seder with the closest ones, we found extra energy available to overcome limitations that prevent us from moving forward in life towards our true self. We move!


And when that nest does not provide the necessary shelter and protection, there is a feeling of not having where to return … Doubts, fears, and anguish that produces unpredictable darkness increase, making the construction of the future more difficult and hazardous. Thus, the urgency to obtain a job and build a home appears. The incipient maturity cracks, the feeling of lack of opportunities increases; and the youthful impulse is reduced by the immediacy of insecurity.

Then, (he stopped)… prepared his chariot and pursued the Israelites, who were trapped between the sea and the Egyptian army, and fragmented into four positions: Some said “drown in the sea”, others proposed to fight against the Egyptians, a third faction preferred to return to what was known, and a fourth began praying.


And those are the four basic positions that we human beings can adopt when, once having made a decision, we face the ups and downs of its materialization. At the ideas level, everything seems possible, but when it is time to make it real, difficulties appear: we either “drown” in the problem or start fighting despite tiredness or try going back to “what we know” or simply beg Hashem to save us.

Nevertheless, the answer was emphatic: Keep marching!  Move forward!


Definitely, growing comes with a price that covers every dimension of being: body, emotion, mind and spirituality.

When in Ieladeinu we began conceiving the Youth Strengthening Program, it was made thinking firstly on those youngsters that leave our Social Homes and the Family Strengthening Program, to further make it available for youngsters of the community in general who need support to make their life project possible.

Immediately, the metaphorical image of the departure from Egypt arose in us, the path towards the true being, towards being oneself, the cornering between the sea and the Egyptian army and the order: Move forward!!

And this is how the Youth Strengthening Program took shape. It is built and nourished with courage and fears, laughs and tears, achievements and failures, and beneficiaries of the program that arrive and leave…  But always with the basic premises of union, mutual aid, and the security of a network that is becoming more and more established to overcome any uncertainty. And, of course, BH sheltering the hope for a better future, networking, with each of us contributing according to our possibilities, supporting and taking care of each other…

And always remembering that it was union, belonging, what made the exit possible.

“Despair is diametrically opposed to everything we believe. In other words: it is the negation of reality. It is to deny that there is a God who directs creation, watches over each individual and assists each one in what must be accomplished.” (Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, from the teachings of the Rebbe).



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