Jewish holidays aren't just a simple commemoration of historical events- each year is a new episode. All you need to do is tap into it and you too can experience your own renewal!
The light of redemption shines at this time of the year. The Sages say that time is like a spiral. Just as the Earth is in the same position relative to the Sun, we are under the same spiritual energy as previous years. Our ancestors were taken out if Egypt with miracles and wonders more than 3,324 years ago. Because we stand in the same light as they were in, we are eligible to receive personal redemption.
We can all be worthy of receiving this redemption by preparing ourselves to be appropriate vessels for light. Everyone has challenges in life. In the end, we will get through them. For now, we are busy just trying to deal with things, but what really counts is exactly how we confront the problems. We can learn several lessons from our forefathers and the rituals we do for Passover.
Our ancestors were subjected to intense slavery yet they remained steadfast in four things. In the midst of immoral Egyptian society, they maintained Hebrew names, spoke in Hebrew, wore modest clothing, and did not intermarry. It is said, "according to the effort is the reward": In merit of their enormous efforts, they were brought out of bondage. With a little effort, there are many things one can do this year to merit miracles.
There is a message in cleaning leaven out of our houses for Passover. The Sages say that just as the fermentation process leavens bread, the evils of mankind puff-up a person with haughtiness. We are instructed to search for leaven in our houses and remove it for Passover, so too we should scrutinize our deeds in order to improve ourselves.
The matzah is called "the bread of haste", as we went out so quickly from slavery to freedom that there wasn't enough time to make bread. If we don't watch our behavior, it can lead to improper conduct. People can get caught up in themselves to the point where one is almost like a slave to their own desires. Similarly, during this holiday we can have this same attitude toward bad behavior- quickly flee from it so it doesn't ensnare you.
By re-living the exodus from Egypt at the meal, we can learn valuable lessons. These concepts can be applied to our modern daily lives, recalling our actions in every situation. Look at the incredible faith and determination that our ancestors displayed in the most hopeless of situations. With a similar attitude, we can tackle the stresses of modern-day life with a profound tenacity.
Bitter herbs remind us of bitter bondage, but how do we respond to the bitterness of life? Some are so busy puckering and grimacing over their problems that they don't even realize that they are making some very silly looking faces! Life can make you bitter, or it can be an opportunity to become better. The process of learning to overcome a bad attitude can really make a person great.
Build a better sandwich. When things go awry, a little sweetness can make life palatable. A smile lights up everyone's day. A pleasant greeting can uplift a downtrodden heart. A listening ear can soothe the most distraught soul. May we all merit being appropriate vessels for light and have a speedy redemption from all our troubles.
Chag Kasher V'Sameach
[Have a Proper and Happy Holiday],
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