We share here a variety of interpretations and teachings on the meanings of Pesach from a few great thinkers from Masorti Israel. The depth of learning and thoughtful words will, we hope, help create a deeper and more meaningful celebration of Pesach.
Rabbi Elisha Wolfin
Freedom? Yes, But Gently, Please
Those of us who teach in Batei Midrash throughout the country…or conduct educational Seders in schools and other institutions before Pesach generally preach freedom to anyone who is willing to listen – perhaps we need to take a step back?!
How judgmental this discourse is! We promised ourselves last Pesach, and also the one before, that this year we will finally get out of the shackles that are stifling us, drop the addictions that torture us, get rid of the laziness that is holding us back, outgrow the procrastination that characterizes us … and woe unto us, this Passover will pass and nothing will change…
Therefore, this year I am inviting myself and anyone else interested in trying, to be ever so gentle with the quest for freedom!…
Freedom, it turns out, is a process – a long, gradual process. No one can fundamentally gain true freedom by the use of force…
The exodus that we celebrate on Passover – and in fact on all the Jewish holidays and all the Sabbaths, even the weekdays – is the joy of becoming, the exodus from potential to realization…
And freedom? We are free to be realized, be manifested, become more and more ourselves.
Read the whole text of Rabbi Wolfin’s teaching here.
Dr. Nurit Novis Deutsch
The Tension on Seder Night between Innovation and Preservation
This tension – between innovation and preservation – is built-in to Judaism, and apparently, into all religions. On the one hand, there is the spiritual experience of the fixed ritual, amidst the memory of the previous year, of our father’s home, of two thousand years. On the other hand, rebellion against what we know, what’s permanent, and the search along the unpaved paths.
To read more of this beautiful teaching in Hebrew, click here.
Rabbi Yoav Ende
When a person has no liberty, he demands it every day. When a person has liberty, he often confuses this freedom with comfort and serenity. To protect our freedom, we are commanded not just to hope that the situation does not worsen but to fight with everything we have to build a life of meaning and responsibility and to understand what kind of life is worth living and what kind of life is worth fighting for, as individuals and as a nation.
This year, let’s read the Passover haggada as a sovereign nation in our own land and not as slaves who have not yet gained their freedom.
A happy, meaningful and kosher Passover to all,
Mechinat Hannaton Prepares for Passover – and Helps at the Nearby Archaeological Dig