web analytics
May 5, 2015 / 16 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Pesach: A Time For Personal Redemption

We recognize that the Exodus story in the Torah, like all biblical narratives, is more than just a historical or political tale of physical bondage and ensuing liberation, it is also a spiritual and psychological drama. The exodus represents the human potential to liberate itself from slavery — be it physical, mental, or spiritual.

Let us explore some of the inner dynamics of slavery and freedom, some of the fundamental questions concerning freedom. What is the value of freedom? And why do we desire it so? How do we find it?

We are forever in search of freedom; it is the timeless quest for emancipation that lies in the heart of every human being, and yet it remains forever out of our reach. We think to ourselves: if only this or that would happen, then we would be free. We claim we just have to put this or that in order first. We never give up seeking it even as it remains seemingly just out of our reach, even if we have crossed the barrier that we thought was in our way.

A natural human tendency is to worship that which we have become comfortable with. We worship our habits, attitudes, patterns, inclinations and routines, simply because we have become accustomed to them. We want to enjoy a god that fits into our comfort zones. We know the ways we are enslaved, whether it is to money, to fame, to an addiction, to another person.

Life is about challenge, mystery and growth. We ought not say, “This is the way I am. I am comfortable with this world view, any other way must be wrong.” Rather, we ought to challenge every instinct, convention and dogma. Don’t let your life become enslaved to a pattern just because it has “always been that way.” Don’t let your soul be confined by external conventions. Be open to sublime transcendence at any moment of your life.

Techiyas Hamaysim will take place in the month of Nissan. This tells us that our task is to bring ourselves to life. We must always be searching for the other half of the Afikomen.

The 4 cups of wine correspond to the four leshonos, terms, of Geulah, of redemption.

Vehotzaysee –I took you out Vehitzalti –I rescued you Vega’alti –I redeemed you Velakachti eschem Li le’am –I brought you to Me to be My people.

The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, means straights, constraints, obstructions – representing the forces that get in the way of a person becoming who he or she truly is. We each carry our own private mitzrayim within us, a seeming restricting force that prevents us from living fully, from actualizing our lives. It may be fear, anxiety, insecurity, arrogance, addiction, dishonesty, laziness, envy, or despair. Our personal obstruction may stem from difficult experiences, health problems, dysfunctional families, financial difficulties, or the death of a loved one. Such life challenges can induce in us a state of psychological exile, keeping us stuck in a quagmire of hopelessness, torment, and paralysis, prohibiting us from fulfilling our potential.

Pharaoh, the king of Egypt symbolizes the inner king of obstruction – that inner voice of power that invariably ensures we remain shackled to our individual enslaving patterns.

We might question: how much inner harmony must we achieve in order to obtain psychological freedom? Do we need our inner “Pharaoh’s” complete consent?

Often we abandon the effort for inner freedom as we realize we can never completely rid ourselves of our inner demons, our pharaohs. We surrender to lives of “quiet desperation” (in Thoreau’s famous words) since we cannot have total inner integration. Thus we remain filled with inner strife and conflict.

Judaism is actually more tolerant of human foibles and does not necessitate the obliteration of all darkness and negativity within the human heart. We have only to continue our struggle of avoiding evil and recognize that fluctuations are normal. That is why we have Torah and mitzvot, to help us to be in accord with the highest level of morality and spirituality. We must allow for our humanity. The Torah, as we know, was not given to the angels, but to us imperfect human beings. There will always be an inner demon (pharaoh) attempting to convince us why we should remain an addict, in the abyss.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Pesach: A Time For Personal Redemption”

  1. Matthew Lai says:

    I'm in the midst of a personal Pesach, and I'm not even Jewish!

  2. Great! Am so pleased that Judaic teachings go beyond the Jewish people but can be universal. Thanks.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rioters smash window of police car in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Riots and Jewish Gangs
Latest Sections Stories
Safar-050115-Califlower

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with – it blends so easily into whatever dish I am preparing.

Eller-050115-Fruit

For all their deliciousness, frozen beverages do not stand the test of time well, as any ice or frozen fruit thickening your drink will melt into a watery mess.

blintze_cake

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at the Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 8, at 7:45 am at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  The annual event, which brings together important elected officials and the Westchester Jewish community, is sponsored jointly by UJA-Federation of New York […]

“Like other collaborative members, we embarked on this journey as an opportunity to build on New York leadership’s long commitment to expand and diversify opportunities for Jewish teen engagement,” says Melanie Schneider, senior planning executive with UJA-Federation of New York’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

More Articles from Susan Vorhand

We recognize that the Exodus story in the Torah, like all biblical narratives, is more than just a historical or political tale of physical bondage and ensuing liberation, it is also a spiritual and psychological drama. The exodus represents the human potential to liberate itself from slavery — be it physical, mental, or spiritual.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/pesach-a-time-for-personal-redemption/2013/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: