Today is seven days, which is one week, of the omer
A day of majesty in a week of loving kindness
This year, I leave this Passover period with a different perspective on the holiday. I tend to emphasis the breaking free from oppression--whether in the physical, spiritual, or emotional realm. And while that is an important lesson of the story as always, there's more to learn.
This morning I chanted these verses as part of the Pesach Day 7 reading. The Israelites have just gotten out of Egypt. They now see Pharaoh and his army behind them; the seemingly uncrossable Red Sea in front. They are scared. Moses tries to calm them, but the are filled with fear. God says to Moses:
Tell the Israelites to go forward.Tell the Israelites to go forward....that's the message. The nuts & bolts come next--Moses will gesture, the sea will split, the Israelites will march through. But first, God says, just remember to go forward. Don't dwell on the running away, focus on the going toward.
And you lift up your rod and hold out your arm over the sea and split it
so that the Israelites may march into the sea on dry ground
Exodus 14:15 - 16
Now, these Israelites couldn't take God's advice. When things got tough, they yearned for the "good old days" in Egypt. They couldn't open their minds to the expanse that lay ahead.
The Spanish philosopher George Santayana wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." As it has been told for centuries past, we will continue to tell the story of Pesach for centuries to come. We need the consistent reminder of the importance of freedom on many levels. But we cannot live in that past time--we need to move forward in our lives, being present in each step along the way.