|Wednesday...finishing the "long day" at DFCI|
Passover is often referred to as a 'celebration of Jewish freedom'. It is that, for sure. But, it is much more than that, in addition to always being a special gathering of family and friends, it is a reminder of Jewish responsibility and of the positive impact that we can have on the world around us. If you'll indulge me, since I probably won't be at a Seder, there are a few parts of the story that always stay with me:
- after generations of exile as slaves in Egypt, the beginning of our redemption started with one person, Moses, rising up against the oppression. While our ultimate escape from Egypt, and freedom in the land of Israel, came with G-d's intervention, Moses made the first move....one person can change history
- after escaping Egypt, we spent forty years in the desert, two generations, before we re-entered Israel, the land of our ancestors. That is a long time, it means that most of the people who entered Israel were not the slaves that escaped Egypt, but their children. Yet they fully embraced the story of redemption, and it's telling to every generation since "as if you were there". What does that mean they were doing for those 40 years in the desert? Among other things, it means that the parents, and elders, were teaching their children to embrace their history, appreciate their freedom, and respect the responsibility that comes with that freedom -- specifically that as long as their are oppressed people, Jewish or not, we have a responsibility for work for their freedom. From those roots, we have the continuing commitment today of the Jewish community to world service, justice, social action, outreach, and philanthropy. It is a tall order, and a lasting legacy of our ancestor's commitment to teaching their children the 'story' of our own redemption being told and reflected on "as if we were there".
- during our 40 years in the desert, Moses received the Torah, the law, on Mt Sinai. We entered the desert as Israelites, descendants of Abraham. We returned to Israel as Jews. At Mt Sinai, we rejected idols and become the first of the monotheistic religions. From those roots, came each of the other monotheistic religions, Christianity, Islam, Bahai, Druze, and others. It is worth recalling that we are all of the same roots.
On this Passover, I am truly thankful for the freedom and ability to fight this cancer, for the unconstrained love of my family, the kindness, prayers, and good wishes from friends across time and space, and to live in a time and place where we have the medical care and knowledge to put the odds in my favor.
To all of my family and friends celebrating Passover this year, I wish you a Chag Sameach.
And, to each of my friends celebrating Easter this year, Happy Easter.
|The 'once and future' me. Courtesy of Hazon, and the 2011 CA Ride.|