It is a holiday of the journey from slavery to freedom. We are remembering the story of when the Jews were slaves in Egypt (Mitzrayim - coming from the Hebrew word for narrow) for years and years and years, exiled from our true faith and way of life, and how that exodus toward freedom took place over time. The Sedar (the big meal experience we have) is a way for us to not only keep telling the story to future generations, but for the people participating to experience (as much as we can) what our ancestors went through. We do this 1. because it is deeply relevant to our history and 2. because we are still going through it, in our own ways, today.
WHOA that gets complicated. Luckily I have a handy little guide to take me through each of the days with thinking points and such. But hopefully you get the gist. Needless to say, I have a lot to be thinking about during the vacation from classes! Of course, freedom and what it means has been on my mind as I prepare for this holiday, this cleansing process. This process and this story tell us countless things, but I think one of the most valuable is that few of us are actually free. Freedom, the process of becoming free, or exodus, happens slowly. Consciously. (I have met people in prison who are more mentally free than I am, yet live behind barbed wire and metal bars. Go figure.) Figuring out what my personal Mitzrayim is, and how I can free myself has been so valuable. So, I invite you to do the same, no matter how you identify spiritually. Spring is upon us, a time for rebirth. What are you enslaved to? Materialism? Consumerism? Body image? Your own expectations? The past? Relationships? We all have something. And the more aware we can be of these things, the clearer our path to our own exoduses will be.