The headline this week is not that Purim is behind us, but that Pesach is in front of us.
Our Sages ruled that 30 days before Pesach we are obligated to begin to study and prepare for it. We do not yet know exactly how we will be permitted to celebrate Pesach this year. If only we will be allowed to sit at the Seder table with our entire extended family.
But there is one reality that the corona cannot disrupt: In one more month, we will go forth into freedom. Our Sages call upon us to gear up for this event. Not to fall into it weary from cleaning, cooking, and endless errands. Not to simply land at the Seder table from a place of unpreparedness. Not to invest the next 30 days in obsessing over the elections.
Rather, we are supposed to prepare for the 14th of Nissan, the day of the Exodus from Egypt. To study the holiday, to go through the Haggadah and, mainly, to go forth into freedom ourselves.
There is a famous line in the Haggadah: “In each and every generation a person needs to see
himself as if he had personally left Egypt.” In the book of Tanya, a fundamental text of the Chassidic movement, this line has been amended significantly as follows:
“In each and every generation, and on each and every day, a person needs to see himself
as if he had personally left Egypt.”
Not only in each and every generation, but on each and every day. We need to go forth into
freedom a little more each day. To check why we are enslaved, what limits us and gets in our way, and to fight this slavery every day. There’s a month until Pesach.
Good luck to everyone.
(translation by Yehoshua Siskin)