In a world afflicted by plagues and devoid of autonomy, the ancient Israelites enslaved in Egypt longed for little more than fundamental safety and freedom from suffering. Today, whether you have lost your job, feel unsafe in your home or are eating Matzah of your own volition, your pain is also valid. What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers? For one, many seders have saved a seat for a special new guest (and no, I’m not talking about Elijah). This year, Zoom joined the party, enabling extended families to safely come together from across the street or across the globe.
Three years ago at a friend’s Collegetown party, I was sitting on a couch next to a guy holding a beer the way a child clutches a security blanket. Amidst the dark atmosphere and loud music, he turned to me and urged me to enjoy myself while I was at college. “The world”, he told me, “says these are the best years of our life.”
Whether you have felt that way or not throughout your time at Cornell, you will almost certainly feel it in the next few days as your Cornell undergraduate experience draws to a close. As you experience your last Slope Day. As you leave your extracurriculars. As you entrust your leadership positions to other people. As you bid farewell to your friends on Graduation Day.
Weeks before the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was announced, thousands in Hong Kong joined protesters around the world to march against the bloodshed that has resulted from the war between Israel and Hamas. Gaza is also a hot topic of debate in Internet blogs in China.
According to an online survey by the Chinese newspaper Huan Qiu, 66 percent of China’s bloggers believe Israel should be held responsible for the conflict while 34 think the fault lies with Hamas. In addition, an online petition calling for an Israeli ceasefire was signed by almost 1,400 Chinese.