Passover Politics

Passover Politics

As we gather together for the Pesach Seder with loved ones and friends, we'll be reflecting on the story of the Jewish people's enslavement in Egypt and the miraculous Exodus that followed through God's hand.

In Judaism, we believe that time is not linear, but rather spiral. This means that as we reach the calendar day that commemorates a Yom Tov (holiday), it is not just a time to recall what happened on that day, but also an opportunity to relive and connect to the energy of that day on a psychological and spiritual level. Therefore, a crucial aspect of the Seder is to immerse ourselves in the emotions and feelings of the Jewish people during their time in Egypt and to tap into the spiritual energy that the occasion affords us.

One powerful example that resonates with our present time is a concise line from the Hagaddah: "And it was in those great days when the king of Egypt died and the Children of Israel sighed from the work and yelled out, and their supplication went up to God from the work." Commentators on the Hagaddah question why the death of Pharaoh suddenly prompted the Jewish people then to cry out to God?

According to one commentator, despite a change in leadership, and a hope for change, nothing altered in terms of the Jewish people's suffering. It was precisely then that they began to cry out to God, recognizing that their struggles were not due to the policies of leadership or human governance, but rather the true cause of their suffering was Divine in nature. While they would have continued to do what they could to improve their situation, they realized that their ultimate recourse was to pray and appeal to God's mercy, as the Almighty is the ultimate arbiter of events, and not human leaders. This realization taught them that political change alone is not enough to solve their problems.

So as we relive Pesach and the Exodus this coming Seder night, let us consider the following question: to what extent do politics provoke events, or is Divine decree really pulling the strings?

Pass Over Politics; Ponder Providence.

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