April 8, 2009
Historically, Passover, which begins tonight at sundown, is the Jewish holiday commemorating both our ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from bondage, as well as the commemoration of God sparing the Israelites when he killed the first born of Egypt. (God “passed over” the houses of the Israelites).
At the 10,000-feet level, it also symbolizes spring-time, rebirth, renewal. I feel like the timing is incredibly appropriate this year, as I’ve stumbled over several pebbles as of late.
I will be celebrating a belated seder (complete with Mom’s unrivaled brisket and potatoes!) when I go home to New Jersey this weekend, but the holiday officially kicks off tonight and, as a result, you can bet I’ll be eating lots of matzo over the next week!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the critical slavery aspect of this important holiday — something I’ve always known from Hebrew school and reading the Passover story each year at our seders, but also something I’ve never taken to a personal level or internalized it … until now.
While I’ve certainly never experienced physical bondage, I’ve said before I often feel like a prisoner of my own thoughts; a slave to myself.
Like my ancestors, I want to be freed.
But the difference is, unlike my ancestors, I have the power to free myself. I just need to do it. Honestly. Openly. Willingly.
That realization really resonated with me, and as we read the Passover Haggadah this year, I hope to keep in mind just how fortunate I truly am, to be able to have control of my own thoughts and actions, and to be surrounded by my friends and family who love me and want what’s best for me: health and happiness.
For anyone else celebrating, Happy Pesach!