Tonight begins the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is not a religious holiday, as much as it is a Spiritual one.
Passover tells the story of the Hebrews release from Egyptian slavery and how they wandered the dessert for 40 years enroute to the Promised Land. There are rituals and details that expand dinners (known as Seders) from the usual quick 30 minute routine to, in some homes (like my Great Uncle Oscar’s), over 4 hours. The holiday lasts for 8 days, during which no leavened products can be had. Families and friends gather, stories are told, questions are asked and courses keep on coming – each one with different symbols and spins on old favorites.
There are so many interpretations of the holiday. One gist for some celebrating is the notion of freeing ourselves from our own bondage. As my friend Vesna says, “It is the one time when you should take things personally.” What she means is that it can be a personal holiday – one where you actually get to make it about you – seeing ourselves reflected in all of the different figures of Passover. As it is said, of all the Hebrews to be freed, only 20% left – 80% stayed. The devil they knew was better than the devil they didn’t.
So, where do you stay back? Inspite of all of the miracles you’ve seen in your life, where do you still lack the Faith you need to move ahead, physically, spiritually, emotionally?
Where are you like Moses and take yourself out of narrow places and face your fears?
And where are you like Pharaoh? Nice to some and wicked to others? Holding them slaves for your kindness, when you dole out beatings more often?
There are so many questions and metaphors to explore during this time. And it doesn’t matter if you celebrate Passover or not. The invitation is to simply reflect on your own life and where you are a slave and where you want to be free.
My wish for you, no matter how you celebrate (or don’t) is: May you be free, May you have Faith, and May you see the miracles that surround you. It’s pretty simple. Maybe that’s why the story has lasted for thousands of years. It’s a tale we could all learn from.
How will you MindFULLY set yourself free this year? Let us know!