Tag Archives: Pesach

Pesach and the Haggadah

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

פסח Pesach 2017 has concluded. I hope everyone’s was blessed. I learn things every year, and this year I did some deep reflecting and thinking, just sort of processing some of the things I read.

While I realize my life, and our lives in America today, have little if anything in common with the Israelites held captive in Egypt all those years ago, in the Haggadah, it says “In every generation each individual is bound to regard himself as if he personally had gone forth from Egypt”. Hmm, I’ve never been to Egypt, and I have no desire to go there now. But I have watched The Mummy movies several times. Even the old black and white one. But that’s not what it means. Turns out, we all have our own Egypt, Pharaoh and Moshe.

In each one of us there is an Egypt and a Pharaoh and a Moses and Freedom in a Promised Land. And every point in time is an opportunity for another Exodus.

Egypt is a place that chains you to who you are, constraining you from growth and change. And Pharaoh is that voice inside that mocks your gambit to escape, saying, “How could you attempt being today something you were not yesterday? Aren’t you good enough just as you are? Don’t you know who you are?”

Moses is the liberator, the infinite force deep within, an impetuous and all-powerful drive to break out from any bondage, to always transcend, to connect with that which has no bounds.

I wonder, how many of us are in chains of one sort or another? Work situations, relationship situations, health situations, financial situations? There are no limits to the things that can bind us. I might take a minute to mention that former Congressman Bob McEwen points out that when you look at the effect of taxes, working and not being allowed to keep the fruit of your labor is slavery. For those fans of Hillary and Bernie.

How could I make such a statement in the middle of talking about Pesach? Well, because Rabbi Tsvi says

Tell it in first person, in the now. Don’t say, “Long ago, the ancient Hebrews…” Say, “When we were slaves in Egypt, the perverse socio-bureaucratic system thoroughly crushed every individual’s sense of self-worth!” Everything that happened there parallels something in each of our lives. We are truly living it now. We are simply examining our own lives in the dress of ancient Egypt.

See? It’s relevant!

There is a point during the Seder where the youngest child present asks four questions. Hmm, would this present a problem? Cowgirl kitty refused to ask the right questions. No problem, Rabbi had the answer.

No children? Let an adult ask. There’s just you? You be the child, and G‑d will be the father. While you’re at it, ask Him a few other difficult questions for us all.

Oh, I’m good with this! I’m so good with this! What’s more? We’re not limited to four!

Part of the Seder is eating Matzah. My Kosher for Pesach Matzah came from Israel. I’ve been eating Matzah since last Monday night, the 10th. This is a mitzvah, a commandment. Yep, until there is another Holy Temple, this is the only mitzvah we can eat. And according to Rabbi, this is an incredibly powerful thing. An amazing thing. Matzah has been called the bread of faith or Emunah.

Emunah is when you touch that place where your soul and the essence of the Infinite Light are one. It’s a point that nothing can describe. Where there are no words, no doubts, no uncertainty, no confusion—nothing else but a magnificent oneness before which all the challenges of life vanish like a puff of vapor.

I should have ordered like a gazillion cartons (5 boxes to a carton) of this!

We too began buried in Egypt, all but losing our identity. But that furnace of oppression became for us a firing kiln, a baker’s oven, the womb from whence we were born in the month of spring. In our liberation from there, we brought our fruits of freedom to the world.

http://www.chabad.org/library/howto/wizard_cdo/aid/117118/jewish/7-Bread.htm

Miracles happen when Divine energy from beyond the cosmos enters within. Why did miracles happen in Egypt? Because we believed they would. Those who didn’t believe in miracles saw only plagues. To see a miracle, you need an open heart and mind, open enough to receive the Infinite. That is the opening we make when we thank G‑d for the miracle of our food.

http://www.chabad.org/library/howto/wizard_cdo/aid/117124/jewish/13-Bless.htm

Aren’t these amazing thoughts to ponder and ruminate on?

And then, there’s the miracle of the parting of the Sea of Reeds, the obstacle.

But the greatest of barriers turned into the greatest of miracles. Not only did the sea become an ambush for the enemy, but also a path that led the children of Israel to their ultimate freedom.

So it is with every obstacle. When you’re out to do the right thing, the entire world is there to assist you—including the most formidable threats, the most impossible challenges. The bigger they are, the more impossible to traverse, the greater the miracle they will provide.

That is the true reality of everything in this world: to serve you on your mission. What is your mission? To make this world miraculous.

And obstacles are miracles waiting to happen.

So,  I think we all struggle with slavery of some sort, perhaps this will give you some hope, and maybe a different perspective. The children of Israel went into Egypt as 12 different tribes, and came out a nation. These are just some of the things that really struck me this year, and I’m still chewing on some of them. Unlike the matzah which I am now loading with my leftover yummy charoset which I munch right down.

I’ll leave you with one final Pesach thought, because A) it’s a really good one, and B) it has a picture of a camel.

Leaving Egypt and slavery

Got the popcorn?

Here’s a song I learned in school, I love this version. I know it’s by a group called Tractor’s Revenge, but the words are wonderful. I have it on my phone, so I sang it at the end of my Seder.

Echad Mi Yodea אחד מי יודע

It has the meanings in English, it’s wonderful!

 

Then there is this one, wonderful thoughts, Passover: I’m in Love with the Taste of You, this year’s Aish Pesach video.

 

And lastly, just for fun. Pesach Funk. “Freedom! Oh man! Gonna live my life the best way I can!” Boy can they dance!

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Let My People Go, That they may hold a feast to me

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” 2 But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” 3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4 But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.” Exodus 5:1-4 Shemot 5:1-4

Tomorrow begins Pesach.

The original Pesach began when G-d decided his children had suffered enough of living in a land different than that he allotted to them. G-d sent Moshe to those in power over them to let them go and worship him as he had instructed them.

Pharaoh said “NO, it would threaten the Al-Aqsa mosque”. Actually that’s crap. Pretty much the same crap that muslims have been saying violently for years now. Long since before Israel was re-established as a state.

A quick history lesson. The first Temple was built by King Solomon in 957 BC. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Construction on the Second Temple was authorized by Cyrus the Great and began in 538 BC. It was completed 23 years later under the reign of Darius the Great. See the Purim story for more on this little gem. It was destroyed again by the Romans in 70 AD.

Mohammed the founder of the religion of pieces known as Islam lived from 570 AD – 8 June 632 AD. Around 613 AD he started preaching Islam. The first two Al-Aqsa mosques were built in 705 AD and 780 AD. They were destroyed by earthquakes. The third and still standing was built in 1035 AD. It is the 3rd holiest site is islam, and interestingly, at least to me, is there are Arab scholars which say that the mosque located on the Temple Mount is NOT the Al-Aqsa talked of in the Koran, it is not in the right location.

So, just in time for Pesach, the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic UN branch, specializing in anti-Israel actions, known as UNESCO has released a new resolution. It denies Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. You know, the Temple that was constructed to replace the Tabernacle Moshe built in the desert? But it goes a lot further than that. It

refers to Israel as the “occupying power” at every mention and uses the Arabic al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif without ever calling it the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews. The text does refer to the Western Wall Plaza but places it in quotation marks, after using the Arabic Al-Buraq Plaza.

And

The resolution accuses Israel of “planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries” and of “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.”

Currently on the Temple Mount, holiest site in Judaism and holy to Christians, THIRD holiest site to muslims (if it is the right mosque, debate on that) Jews and Christians are NOT allowed to pray, recite verses from our Tanakh/Bible or wear any religious or Israeli symbols on our clothing. The Israeli police, yes Israeli will arrest you in a heartbeat. Yours or anyone’s. The muslim waqos, (hmm, may have left an “f” out of that somewhere) make sure the screaming harridans can yell “allah hu akbar” at visitors and safely stash rocks and incendiary devices to throw in their sacred Al-Aqsa. Pretty much like most Synagogues and Southern Baptist Churches, right?

Ok, I’ll stop. But the point is, Pesach began when the children were told to go and worship HaShem as he had commanded and the ruling powers tried to prevent it. Thousands of years later and what has changed? Moshe Dyan, you were an IDIOT!

But, there was a Pesach, and tomorrow night there will be a Pesach and I believe HaShem has still got a plan and has this covered. And so I will wish you Happy Passover, Pesach.

חג פסח שמח

 

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