Pesach: the big one. The big, cool, formative Jewish holiday. The holiday without which Judaism could not exist.
What can I say?
Pesach celebrates the Exodus from Egypt. On the first two nights, through elaborate ceremony (my family's is about four hours in duration, including dinner), we retell and relive this central story. Guests are invited. Among other things, we drink wine or grape juice, eat matza (flat unrisen bread) and maror (bitter herbs), and answer the main question of the evening, posed by the youngest child present: Why is this night different from all other nights?
Why indeed? Why, thousands of years after a potentially fabricated tale occurred, are we retelling it? Why bother?
Why? Because even in our own day, there is oppression. In our own lives, we have all been freed from something. I believe that God sees suffering and I believe that God cares. And that is the theme of the Exodus.
Side note: On the second night of Pesach we begin counting the Omer. Every night for seven weeks we will say a bracha (blessing) and count the days and weeks (for example: "Today is the twelfth day, that is one week and five days, of the Omer.") up until the holiday of Shavuot. More on that when it comes.
"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."
I believe in God.
I believe in God.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Tonight and tomorrow, we Jews celebrate Rosh Hodesh Nissan: the beginning of what is arguably the most important month on the Hebrew calendar. This is when we celebrate Pesach (Passover) with what is essentially a reenactment of the Exodus story. We drink four cups of wine (or grape juice), eat matza (flat bread that has not been given time to rise; must be prepared, including baking, in eighteen minutes or less), and tell the central story though our actions, parables, and of course just downright storytelling. It is an excellent holiday, one of my favorites, and I will go into more detail about it when it arrives in just two weeks!
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- I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!