Reprinting my annual Passover post. The first seder is tonight, Friday, April 19th.
Here’s a nice thought on the topic, apropos for our 24/6 social media lifestyle:
The 21st century is certainly a marvelous time in which to live. Space exploration, computerization, the taming of vicious diseases are all truly amazing feats. But we also suffer more burnout, mental exhaustion, attention deficit disorders and high blood pressure than ever before. They are no doubt the effects of our own hi-tech servitude. Like it or not, we’re ruthlessly on call to someone for something all the time. And, we call it “normal.”
Well, on Passover everything comes to a halt. It begins with the destruction of the chametz, leavened foodstuffs, our daily bread. What could be more symbolic of the mundane, ordinary and routine than a piece of bread? We scour our homes and clear every morsel. The “normal” is simply unacceptable for eight days each year. Then we turn off our cell phones, close our places of business and sit down to a Seder with all the time in the world to discuss the Exodus experience. And, while many of us cringe at the seeming never-ending questions our kids can annoyingly ask the rest of the year, on this night they’re encouraged to ask the four questions, along with any others they might have.
As for the rest of Passover, the simple commandment prohibiting us from eating leavened foods automatically creates a huge paradigm shift for a whole eight days whereby our regular routines go out the window. We are free of fast food restaurants. Free from the mundane obligations and vicissitudes of life. Passover is freedom indeed, from the spirit-stunting routines of modern life.
The fact is that each and every week we’ve simply got to take a day off just to catch our breath. That day is Shabbat. But in order to “clean house” and truly free our inner selves from the overwhelming clutter of life lived in the fast lane, we need the extra-strength, paradigm shifting power of Passover.
If you are Jewish, have a sweet and meaningful Passover!