Many of us are deep in the throes of preparations for Passover. As we clean kitchens and remove chametz (leavened foods), form matzah balls and set tables for the Seder, let us also reflect on some of the lessons of this holy festival – a celebration of the Exodus from Egypt, of freedom from slavery, and of the rebirth of spring.
Passover recounts the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. In fact, we are commanded to tell the events we recount at the Seder as if we personally fled slavery. We give up leavened bread and eat matzoh, the “bread of affliction”. In doing so, we affirm our identity and our connection to the struggles of generations past.
We also draw inspiration from Passover’s tale of redemption. As the story of Passover concludes, the Israelites establish their own nation. It is a story of creation that has motivated Jews from generation to generation, l’dor vador. Indeed, our modern world faces many plagues, from terrorism to hatred and bigotry. If only smearing blood on our doorposts could protect us from these scourges. Instead, let us experience the victory of the Israelites as a source of awakening. Let us look to each other as agents of change and join with other good people to build a world that is more compassionate, just, and loving for all. Together, we can do the extraordinary.
From my family to yours, I wish you a Passover overflowing with happiness and the blessings of peace and togetherness.