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Greetings and Happy Passover, April 14
April 10, 2014 - by Rabbi Y. Dovid Weiss
With the Holiday of Passover beginning on April 14, it is essential for all those who celebrate it, to make it personally relevant, inspirational and meaningful for themselves.
Passover has a couple of major themes:
1) Liberation, exodus, and freedom from bondage, suffering, and subjugation. This is based on the biblical story of the Exodus of the Jewish People who were liberated and freed from their enslavement in Egypt
2) Empathy for the poor and underprivileged and an appreciation for the journey from sadness and despair to happiness and fulfillment.
In modern parlance this means, that it is imperative for all of us to know that we can liberate ourselves from our self- imposed limitations, negative behaviors and past traumas, issues and the unnecessary baggage of life.
We can only succeed in doing so by knowing how far we have fallen from where we can aspire to reach, and by envisioning the future of journeying to a better and more contented place. This is helped by empathy and awareness and self actualization of our higher sense of soul and being.
The major foods and beverages of Passover are highly illuminating in this context. Matzah is called poor mans bread. It is flat and humble unlike bread which is puffed up and full of ego, so to speak. By eating Matzah and not bread on Passover. we derive a powerful lesson and teaching. In order to effect personal and communal change in ourselves, our communities and the world, we must be empathetic, humble, not driven by ego, and have the willingness to transform our character, and journey towards self refinement.
When we have the ability to change on a micro and personal level, we can then channel and manifest change on the macro, communal and global level.
Maror (bitter herbs) and wine are also a major part of the ritual foods associated with Passover. They represent the gamut and extremes of the journey from bitterness, anger and humiliation to sweetness, fullness and joy.
I would like to personally bless each of you with blessings and success in your journey towards self refinement, liberation and personal and communal change. Happy Passover.
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