Monday, April 10, 2006

Pesach Thoughts 5766: Pesach time and the living is...

As festivals go, Pesach is a good one - The Matza bry, family time, opportunities to see friends, sunbathe…

But beyond that, it’s a festival about freedom – and what freedom means in our day and age. What freedom means when there are people who were forced out of their homes 9 months ago that are still in hotels; or when families who work full time still can’t afford to feed their children, or when young 18 year old Israeli boys are forced to make thousands of people wait in line at roadblocks.

It’s a story of a liberation movement, of slaves who took on the most powerful empire in the world and won, a revolutionary story claiming God is not on the side of the strong but the weak, a message that people can fight injustice even when the odds are stacked against them, a biblical story that still resonates today with people fighting for their independence.

It’s a festival that reminds us of the need to ask questions, to critique, to not take things at face value, a time for not only asking in what way this night is different to others, but in what way our year has been different, or in what way we are different from last Pesach, what we have accomplished since then, who we have met, where we have traveled, who we have helped, who we have hurt…

It’s a festival about education, how we educate and renew ourselves, how we inspire children and how we can best balance the four different types of children within us. As the shechiyanu bracha is said, it’s a time to remember those who were not spared to celebrate this chag, those that came into the world and those that passed from it, and those things that despite all our scientific knowledge, we are still not privileged to understand.

And finally when we say LeShana HaBaah Biyrushalayim, Next Year in Jerusalem, what do we actually mean – what will the next year bring, what will be in this land of ours, with the new coalition, with the Hamas government, with the increasing poverty and social problems?

And amongst all these issues, where will we be, and what will be doing to help solve them?

Chag Sameach Leculam

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