Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we think about the word Pesach? As a woman the first thing we think about is cleaning. Organizing shopping, preparing food. As a man, although I’m not a man, what would his first instinct be when someone might say to him, hey, how are you preparing for Pesach? His first reaction might be keeping out of his wife’s way. Trying to help out as much as he can in the house. And obviously, we all have to prepare spiritually and mentally for this wonderful day.

So many stories and commentaries have been written about the Haggadah of Pesach, and about this time period, regarding the exile in Egypt and the redemption of the Jewish nation. However, I’m here in Israel, so how can I relate to coming out of Egypt? Being redeemed? Books upon books have been written to connect us to our history and our heritage. And yet what can we do to really open our hearts and souls to greet this holiday properly?


We are living through times that are challenging beyond words. Throughout every generation, the Jewish people always had challenging and trying times. There was always something that the Jewish people were going through that they had to overcome, withstand, grow and become stronger from. That is the essence of what we do, survive and become stronger. Surrounding every holiday is a story involving great sacrifice and heroism. We usually get empowered by the characters and the guidelines of the holiday. All this is to give us strength and hope to always look ahead and never give up.

We’re talking about being enslaved in Egypt and being redeemed. Today, how can we picture all this happening? Unfortunately today we can. We have kidnapped brothers and sisters begging for redemption from the depths of the Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip. Preparing for Pesach, we could think of all the wounded soldiers and people that were hurt by this war and remember all the wounded Jews who were hurt while enslaved down in Egypt so many years ago. We can think of how much hatred the brothers had for Yosef their brother, to cause them to sell him to the Egyptians, and than we can look amongst ourselves and see unfortunately how much we are not in harmony and peace with each other just yet.

When we were redeemed from Egypt, we too were like the Egyptians who were idol worshippers. Today, in our generation there is so much confusion and promiscuity. So what do we think about when we want to prepare for such a holy holiday with so much meaning?

The holiday is coming up in just a few weeks. What are we busy with? Choosing which hotel we want to go to? Are we choosing which dress we want to buy? Or which tablecloth we want to put on the table? How are we preparing for one of the holiest nights of the year? The night that Hashem chose us. To redeem us as a nation, and bring us to Mount Sinai to receive the Holy Torah. This is the night Hashem said, I choose you. I want you to be My children as one. I want you to be purified so that I can give you my Holy Torah, that you may know how to run your lives in the best way possible.

How do we prepare for this day? Some people already started shopping and getting things for the holiday. There are some people that have not started to do anything because they don’t have the ability to do it. They don’t have the resources. When we prepare for the holiday we have to remember that there are many Jews out there who don’t have the resources to make the holiday. And this is such an expensive holiday since we’re making our house like new – new dishes, new everything. We were redeemed.

Imagine that we’re all redeemed today. How beautiful we will look. How beautiful we will dress. How beautiful we will set our table. How we will go and prepare the most exclusive and exotic meals just for the redemption. That’s how we have to think when we prepare for the redeemed again once and for all and forever and ever. We have to make sure that all our brothers and sisters are included in this redemption. That all our brothers and sisters are able to prepare and to dress like kings and queens. Have the table set like a feast fit for the king himself. Make sure there is peace in their home, that there’s happiness, that there is love. We must make sure when we prepare for Pesach that we see other people. That we see other Jews who need our help. We must unite not only in mind and thought, we must unite physically. We must prepare to help others do so as well. There’s so much abundance today like never before. We must make sure that everybody will be able to make the holiday. When we go shopping and get something in the store look around, see who’s standing on line. See who is standing outside the store. Help them. When you buy yourself a piece of meat or chicken see if you can buy a piece of meat for somebody else as well. You bought yourself a dress. Look around, maybe there’s a lady browsing in the store wishing she could get something but just can’t afford it. Go that extra distance. Help every Jew to prepare for Pesach as well, physically. Once a person has peace of mind, then their heart and their soul will be able to receive and give goodness also. When a person is full of worries and sadness and concerns, how will they make the holiday? How will they be able to afford it? How will they be able to do anything for their family? They also want be able to sit like a king and a queen at the seder table. They can’t think about the redemption. Help all of our brothers and sisters celebrate with joy and happiness, than we can all sit lail haseder fully redeemed.

Make sure everybody has their own table. Thank you Hashem for giving us the abilities to help one another. Help us to be together in peace and harmony forever.


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Michal can be reached at [email protected]