Friday, April 6, 2018

Where freedom and love meet - thoughts for the last night of Passover 5778 - April 6, 2018

A people
Escaped the chains that bound them
To harsh labor
To unbridled cruelty
To hopeless days and nights.
They witnessed
Wondrous power
Pitted against the oppression wielded over them
Signs that directed them to look into their future
To see a new existence never imagined
Only after one who thought he was a god
And his people
Realized that their ability to control
Those whom they had kept under their thumb
For so long
Was only an illusion.
Unable to accept that sudden revelation
They pursued and were overtaken
By raging waters
That completed a rebellion against their assumption
That they could enslave and dehumanize others with no one to stop them. 
These people newly redeemed
Were faced with a new reality, in which they could finally know
The right to question and challenge
The right to work when they knew
That they needed to complete a task
And to rest when they understood
That in taking time away from productivity
They would find themselves.
They would learn
That their newfound liberty
Demanded of them
Establishing their own standards for behavior
Practicing the teachings that had been presented to them
by their God
through their patient, if not beleaguered, leader
Who knew that it was his responsibility
To light the way.
They learned
That they would best preserve their freedom
Not through following a new Pharaoh
But by opening their eyes
To the wondrous world around them
To the relationships they could establish with each other
To the guidance one generation could give to the next
And by setting an example of
Upholding justice
Acting with kindness
Showing compassion
And approaching each other with love:
Love within families
Love within their community
Love that could extend to the world around them
And love that would bring in people
From outside their circle
Not to see them as strangers
But as human beings
Because they knew what it meant
To be a stranger.
Would they be able to transmit their values
Throughout the many centuries to come?
Would they find it in themselves to communicate
How their freedom would endure
If they persisted in finding a reason
to love one another?
And so this people that was bound to their God,
Whom they loved, who loved them in return,
Resolved to sing a song of love
With the arrival of spring
While seeing divine love in their learning,
in the wisdom that blessed their minds and souls,
And in their devotion to the instruction given them
So long ago
that renews itself with creation every day.
May our song of freedom and the lilting tune
That accompanies the declarations of love
That have been understood to express the
Affection and connection between God
And this people
Inspire us to truly spread the gift of freedom
To people throughout the world
in a spirit of unity and endearment
that will find its way into the hearts of
all who live now
And to all who will preserve this message           
in  generations yet to come.

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