My faith and religion mean a lot to me. I try not to get too Jewish in my posts, but every now and then I’m compelled to share something I find meaningful. Thanks for putting up with me.
Friday night begins the holiday of Passover. You know it as the commemoration of the time the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Here’s the story in a nutshell: First Moses asked Pharaoh to “Let my people go.” Pharaoh said “No.” So G-d sent ten plagues to the Egyptians. When Pharaoh couldn’t take any more (after the death of his first-born son) he agreed to let the Israelites go. They rushed to get out and didn’t have enough time to let their dough rise (this is why we eat unleavened bread, Matzo, on Passover…a full week of constipation, good times). Pharaoh changed his mind a little while later, and chased after the newly freed slaves. G-d parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape and closed it on the Egyptians. Next, the Israelites received the ten commandments and the Torah and wandered in the Sinai Desert for 40 years before being allowed into the land of Israel.
The main theme of Passover is freedom. Despite all the work it takes to get ready for two seders (giant meals on the first 2 nights) and clean your house of all the bread, it’s a truly beautiful holiday.
The kids’ table at Passover
The theme of freedom still rings true today. But our oppressors are less obvious. We no longer have to schlep boulders and bricks to build pyramids for a Pharaoh, but the question is always asked this time of year, “What is your Egypt?” The rabbis ask us how we have enslaved ourselves? Is it with the trappings of materialism? A mortgage we can’t afford? Designer jeans we buy just to keep up with the Schwartzes? Maybe we feel captive by someone else’s or society’s expectations. Maybe it’s our own image of perfection that keeps our true selves enslaved.
Being freed from slavery and Pharaoh was great. It’s now our responsibility to remain free. For me, keeping my love for my beautiful religion under wraps is one of my taskmasters. It’s often not acceptable to talk openly about religion. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to share my faith with you.
This week I wish you true freedom from whatever may be holding you back.