Monday, March 30, 2015

Thoughts on Passover

Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Circles and Cycles: The Never-Ending Cycle of the Jewish Year

Last month we celebrated Purim with joy and abandon. This week we rejoice in freedom and redemption with a mixture of celebration and serious contemplation. As we sat at the seder table this past week we hopefully pondered what freedom truly means to us. Tradition also teaches that as we experience our freedom we must also ask ourselves what it means that others, like the Egyptians in the sea, must often suffer or die for our redemption. Next month we will once again stand together filled with awe and trepidation at the foot of Mount Sinai as we receive the word of God that is meant to guide our lives on Shavuot (the festival that traditionally celebrates that seminal event in the Torah). And so the cycle continues each and every year.

Like our lives, the Jewish year is a never-ending cycle. Of course, one might say that there is a major difference. After all, the days, months, years and holidays repeat every year without change. By comparison, our lives seem more linear to us. We progress from moment to moment, day to day, and so on in a straight line. We never return back from where we began. Or do we?

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