Sunday, April 17, 2011

Passover, Jewish Identity and Freedom

Passover is the holiday of Jewish continuity and identity. The retelling and reliving of the Exodus from Egypt is a ritual that has been conducted annually by the Jewish people for over 3,300 years. It is deeply ingrained in our psyche and being. Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to ask ourselves how much we know about Torah, our nation and history. How is it that a Jew can be a well learned in many areas but completely in the dark with regards to Jewish learning? How can a Jew be an expert in cosmology or microbiology and be an ignoramous with regards to himself? How can one neglect his very essense and waste his time watching baseball/football/basketball games on television?

Passover is also the holiday of freedom. It's a good time for one to check how free he really is. Are we free to do what we really believe? Or do we alter our behavior because we are afraid what the neighbors/gentiles/co-workers/etc. will say? Are we enslaved to bad habits and/or character traits? Are we prisoners of physical desires or passions? It is time to break free of such shackles of bondage!

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