Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rambling Pesach Thoughts

It’s the Sunday before pesach, and a beautiful day at that. Jewish women around the world have thrown open the windows and doors. Furniture is moved, cleaning and organizing takes place, trash for tossing, things to give away pile up and before you know it the day is over. As I said, it’s a beautiful day. What a pity to spend this day spring cleaning. Off to the playground we go; myself and my two little girls. As we walk down the street I think of how empty it will be - empty of parents that is. I imagine there will be lots of babysitters today. We arrive at the playground and pushing little ones on the swings, encouraging babies down the slide and cheering on the bigger kids climbing the monkey bars are moms and dads! I love this good prioritizing. I’m so proud to be among the like-minded...
I think of Pesach and the freedom it symbolizes. We were slaves in Egypt; has anything changed? Ok, so we're not in Egypt anymore. We may be physically free but I think that we are emotionally enslaved. We are slaves to society, to fashion, to technology. We are slaves to our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, ourselves. We don't allow ourselves the simple pleasures of rolling in the grass, laughing out loud or dancing in the rain. We can't breathe when our Blackberries aren't fully charged. I'm not so sure about this freedom.

Chassidus describes a personal freedom as the true Pesach miracle; freedom to break through our personal boundaries, to free ourselves of self imposed limitations. It might be hard to recognize our boundaries & limitations, because we have become experts at self justification. We allow ourselves to harbor feelings of resentment, to consider ourselves inadequate, to believe that certain accomplishments are beyond our reach. We justify our behaviors and our feelings instead of working them through. I don’t think self justification is all bad. I think it’s important to feel good about our achievements and to accept our failures without feeling incompetent. Which brings me to another lesson of Pesach: humility. Humility reduces our need for self justification. Humility allows us to recognize and learn from our mistakes. Humility may just be the freedom we are all looking for.

To ultimate freedom,

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