I fell in love with Judaism through a certain hippy spiritual branch of it, and many of my perspective on it are colored with that lens. It is only when I leave that environment or straighter people come into it that I realize not everybody thinks like we do.
To that end, here are some rambling last minute Pesach thoughts for you.
The exodus from Egypt is of the corner stones of the Jewish narritive. We return to its theme every Shabbat, every time we bentch after meals, in every amida. I always found it interesting that we celebrate and commemorate not finally getting to Israel, but the beginning of the journey there.
They say that while self refinements are possible any time, there are certain times of the year that are significantly more condusive to certain things. Like how Tshuva is easier to accomplish in Elul when “the King is in the field”. Pesach is the time of leaving things behind us. Leaving our own Mitzraim’s, or places or narrowness, to begin our journey to our own personal promised land.
It’s about getting free of slave mentalities, the attitudes and perceptions that we thing protect us but actually hold us back, and taking on the burden of freedom. The “insecurity of freedom” as Heschel called it.
The perpetual film geek in me also can’t help but revel in the story it self. Such drama! You get to see this amazing character arc of Moses, leaving home, finding his voice, going up against not only the most powerful empire in the world, but the very home that raised him in a heartbreaking effort to save a people who barely know they need saving. How can you not love that conflict?
I think Pesach may very well be my favorite of our holidays. There are so many themes, so much symbolism and so many questions to ask regarding the Pesach story and the Seder itself, I get excited every year anew when I remember what and intellectually stimulating holiday it is for me.
Here’s to us all leaving our narrowness, our baggage, and our insecurities behind us, and relishing the journey forward.
See you on the other side everybody!