Passover: It’s Getting Personal
5 years ago Risa Mond 0
Jewish holidays are always about what happened in the past; something we need to remember, something to recall from days long ago. But these stories are not just tales we tell about people and events that occurred 2,000+ years ago. These stories are timeless and important. So if we’re putting so much emphasis on something, it isn’t for nothing, right?
Let’s take Passover as an example. Passover is the holiday where we celebrate the Israelites freedom from slavery in Egypt. To commemorate, we sit through a million hour long seder, tell the tale of the Israelites, and eat matzah until our stomachs beg for mercy. What gives?
Did you ever stop to think that the passover story isn’t just about the redemption from all those years ago, but that it has to do with you and your life? All of these things—events, moments, memories, timeless tales—happened for a reason. What are these reasons, and what are they here to teach us? Let’s dig deeper.
Passover occurs during the Jewish month of Nissan. The root of the word Nissan is “Nes” which is the Hebrew word for miracle. So my question is this: Is Nissan special because of the holiday of Passover, or was Nissan a special month to begin with?
Did you ever think about how your birthday was picked? Every holiday, birthday, and date in the Jewish calendar is chosen specifically by Hashem. Think, for example, of a baby’s due date. Doctor’s are usually off by a couple of days about the birth of a baby. Why is that? It is because the exact day and time are decided by Hashem. G-d wants that said baby to come into the world at a specific time and day. So too, Passover took place in Nissan for a reason. When G-d created the months, he embedded a redemption energy in this month.
Nissan occurs in the Spring, when the thaw of winter is finally over (well, maybe not in some places…), and our minds jump to thoughts of Summer… and thoughts of Summer lead to thoughts of Fall. But of course when you start thinking about the future you dwell on the past—how you got here. The thoughts on all your resolutions you made at Rosh Hashana float back into your mind.
…Let’s be honest. You probably didn’t do a single thing you said to the full extent. I know I didn’t. We get stuck in our own minds, in our own fears…in our own exiles. So, Passover isn’t just about the back breaking slavery of 2,000 years ago…it’s about the prison cell you put yourself in your mind.
Nissan is our reset button.
G-d gives us a chance to accomplish these personal redemptions everyday, but we’re not always open to it. The month of Nissan has that miraculous quality about it, when we are more open and willing to accept the task and try again.
Passover is a chance for us to set ourselves free and try again. Nissan tells us it’s okay that you didn’t accomplish every single thing. Forget about what you didn’t do, and go from here. Take your own exodus go out of your limitations, jump over your personal boundaries.
As Passover approaches, I challenge you all to make it personal. Every year we do all we can to make the pain of exile as bare as possible. Now its time to learn from it and make ourselves better.
Break free of an imprisoned mind, make the choice to take that first step, and let go.