In the time of communism in the former Soviet Union, the citizens were not allowed to practice their religion. Most folks went about their secular ways, knowing that they would be arrested if they celebrated a religious holiday, or observed religious customs.
This went on for over 30 years. The older folks still had memories of their faith-based past and the younger ones knew very little about what life was like with God.
When communist rule ended, religious leaders flocked to the cities to revive the souls of the people. One young Rabbi went to Kiev to plan the first Passover seder in decades. All the 300+ Jews in the town were invited, and there was much excitement and anticipation.
The Rabbi ordered the food, cooked under strict kosher guidelines. The matza was baked with no leaving exactly as described in the Bible. Wine was flown in from donors all over the world so the Russians could fulfill the blessing of the fruit of the vine.
And special Passover prayer books, called Haggadahs, were published in Russian. Now everyone present at the sedar would be able to fully understand and particpate in the Passover story; the Jews exodus from Egypt. The only thing left was to find a space large enough to host such an important gathering.
The young Rabbi enlisted the help of a local man who told him the only facility that could hold the large crowd was the old Communist Meeting Hall. With the venue booked, the Rabbi and the Jewish community were ready to celebrate Passover.
What a grand event! The food was served, the wine flowed, the prayers, stories and songs of Passover rung out through the hall. Not a person in the place was displeased. Men, women, and children were ecstatic that they could finally be Jews as God intended.
As the evening was winding down, one man stood to ask the Rabbi a question. “Rabbi, we all appreciate all you’ve done to make a Passover sedar, thank you. Every detail has been perfect and we couldn’t possibly want for anything more. But Rabbi, my question is this, ‘How do you expect us to believe these crazy Bible stories filled with miracles?’ We are an educated people. We know the difference between reality and fantasy. It makes for entertaining drama, but we all know these things in the Bible did not happen.”
A hush came over the room. This one man spoke out loud what they themselves were feeling inside. Ludicrous. Ridiculous. Impossible.
The Rabbi was not offended. In fact he smiled graciously and explained. “Look around you. You are sittting in the very same place where your human rights were taken from you. Twenty years ago you could never have imagined that today you would be sipping wine, eating kosher food, listening to the story of your ancestors, and celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover. You would have said, ‘Ludicrous. Ridiculous. Impossible.’ God makes miracles my friend and right here and right now, you are experiencing your very own miracle.”