Passing Over...

It’s 4 AM. I haven’t sold my chametz.

This time of year is always really good for me. I like (read: crave) the arrival of the spring, and look forward to everything that comes along with it.

When I was a little kid, spring really meant March and the beginning of spring training. The arrival of pitchers and catchers meant April would come soon, and April was only a month away from May, which in turn was only a couple weeks away from June 15, which was generally the day school let out for summer vacation. I actually remember charging through the doors of my elementary school, bursting out onto the playground and shouting “I’m free! I’m free!”

It’s a funny memory to have every year, since I generally spend some time around this season thinking about the nature of freedom.

On a personal level, this past year hasn’t been so easy. I’m not quite sure how I arrived at this particular point in my life. I am sure, though, that walking through the proverbial desert has clearly brought me closer to the man I want to be… I just need to know how to find my way home. (I keep looking for Charlton Heston to guide me, but he never seems to show up...).

In some ways, we are all lost in the desert… we search and we seek, hoping for a sign of something more. I suppose this is simply the nature of being, of hoping. The desert itself may look different every time we encounter it, but it’s always there, regardless. The desert, to put it lightly, isn’t easy.

Recently, a friend suggested that I start keeping a journal in order to find some clarity. It was a really good call. Here’s a little Pesach Manifesto:

I’m free. I’m not going to be a slave to expectations.

I’m free. I’m not going to compromise my individuality.

I’m free. I’m not going to let society’s sense of aesthetic determine my own.

I’m free. I’m not going to be afraid to be vulnerable.

I’m free. I’m not going to be afraid of walking into the water.

On some level, life is simply about living this blessing we call self-determination.

Easy or not, we all have the chance to sow the seeds of inner-truth. We ultimately have the power of choice; Pesach is all about seizing that choice and living a life that’s reflective of the miracles we’ve each been blessed to encounter.  Redemption itself is not found at a seder table. Rather, the seder reflects on the miracle that is redemption… and on all the other miracles that have graced our personal journeys. Redemption is internal. It’s already inside you and me and each of us, waiting...

May we gain wisdom in our lives, and live lives that honor and respect the essence of the Shechinah that shines within us all.

Avadim hayinu, Atah b’nei chorin. 

Once we were slaves. Now we are free.

Chag sameach, and a zisn Pesach.