Feast of Freedom & Freedom to Feast
This month we will celebrate another Passover with family and friends.
Although seder night is the “big event”, we all know that cleaning the house,
shopping for kosher for Passover food, cooking, and all the additional
preparation is as important as the seder itself. Just think how much planning
and work goes into a seder’s duration of just a few hours.
One of the beautiful lessons that the seder teaches is that there is no enjoyment
without hard work. The joy is proportional to the effort invested. We know this
is also true about our lives. We study, learn, prepare, and then go out into the
world to try and make a living, build a family, and enjoy our achievements.
Another lesson reflects the other name we have for this festival, Z’man
Cheruteinu, the time of our freedom. We were slaves in Egypt and with G-d’s
help and Moses’ commitment we began the journey back to our land, to
become a free nation.
What is interesting about our story is that we prepared to leave Egypt, marking
the celebration of the first seder, while we were still in bondage. The question
is, why? Why not celebrate the first seder after departing from Egypt, as free
individuals in the desert, or at Mount Sinai? One possible explanation is that it
is not only about freedom from a master, but becoming the master of our own
One of the most significant results of freedom is managing your own time. Only
you decide what to do with your time. As we enter a web of relationships,
(parents, children, spouses, friends, etc.) we make decisions how to manage
our 24-hour days. So, preparing the first seder in Egypt, the night before the
departure to freedom, was an exercise and a reminder that time needs balance
between the physical and the spiritual. Passover is not only a feast of freedom
but also marks our freedom to feast.
The Jewish calendar reminds us throughout the year there are opportunities to
share spiritual and quality of life moments with our family and beloved ones.
Life happens only when interacting and sharing with other people. That is why
Passover requires so much preparation and is so joyful at the same time.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait a year to be reminded what really brings
meaning to our lives. Every week, by celebrating Shabbat, we free ourselves
from the bondage of materialism and dedicate an entire day to growing
spiritually and reaffirming our bonds with G-d, family, and community.
Only free individuals can choose the way they teach their children. When you
use the freedom to feast, you build Jewish memories in the minds and souls of
the next generation. Memories that will remain with them their entire lifetime, as
our parents did for us.
Let’s keep the lessons and spirit of Pesach during the rest of the year too, a
continued sequence of Jewish moments of joy, love and nachas. May you all
have a happy, sweet and kosher Pesach.
Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Alberto (Baruch) Zeilicovich
Copyright 2016 Rabbi's Monthly Message. Temple Beth Sholom 40-25 Fair Lawn Ave Fair Lawn NJ 07410 WWW.TBSFL.ORG - (201)797-9321
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