Thursday, April 2, 2015

Our Job This Pesach - to remember and to do

Tonight we get rid of our chametz – the actual leavened stuff that we plant around our house for the ritual (candle, feather, fun). We say the wonderful prayer that absolves us for any other chametz that might be around the house – that we forgot about, that we might stumble upon.  It’s a wonderful prayer – or maybe it should be called an incantation. It reminds us that we are human, that we are imperfect. That no matter how hard we try there will invariably be something that is out of our control. So we let it go (and we do NOT sing the song to Frozen in the process)!

And then we move on to the next step -  we must figure out what is in our control.

Passover is a time when we are reminded that good and evil exists. That slavery was part of our history and unfortunately is still part of our world today. But... freedom from oppression is also a part of our history and is also a part of our world today.  It’s our job to remember – actually re-experience ­ – the oppression and salvation of our ancestors. It's also our job to acknowledge that as a modern Jew who lives in freedom we must do everything we can to enable others to enjoy the same rights and privileges that we have.

Think about our past tonight as you search for the chametz, both the physical and metaphysical leaven and shmutz of our daily lives. And then just as God hardened Pharaoh’s heart against what was good and right, strengthen your heart toward what is good and right. How can you make a change in the world? How can we better others’ lives together?

Next year in Jerusalem – the physical Jerusalem that exists in Israel or the Jerusalem of Above – the Jerusalem as a concept that stands for freedom, pluralism, egalitarianism, and light – for all peoples.

Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach!  A Zissen Pesach!  Happy Passover!

Rabbah Arlene

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