While Passover 2021 is well behind us, the theme of mitzrayim (being in a narrow place) and redemption was, for the second Passover in a row, particularly poignant.
No one ever could have imagined as we zoomed for our first seder back in 2020 and said to each other in closing, “Next year in person”, that we’d still be in the middle of a pandemic a full year later. This year as we concluded our seder, we said to each other, “Next year in person-FOR SURE!”
There are many ways to interpret the word, mitzrayim in the Passover story. One that resonates with me, and which we explore every year at my family seder is the idea that we all are slaves to our inner complicated lives. What goes on inside of us can limit us from being our best selves. Our job is to find that which will bring us one step closer to personal redemption. It reminds me of the vows we take to better ourselves during the High Holy Days.
We have time to do this kind of soul searching in between Passover and Shavuot, the holiday of revelation – 49 days to be exact. Our sages teach that the 49 days in between the two holidays was the time it took for the Israelites to journey from redemption in Egypt to revelation at Mt. Sinai. This period gives us an opportunity to further our private journeys toward personal revelation.
As I reflect on the effects that Covid has had on our lives, I can’t help but think about how deeply the virus enslaved us. Limited in our movements, unable to engage in physical connection with others, bound by restrictions, we were not free to go about our normal activities. And now, as the vaccine reaches more and more people, there is light at the end of the narrow tunnel. We will (hopefully) soon be free to hug, to move around, to be together once again.
How exactly do we get to that place of revelation? We must ask ourselves: what are the lessons that each of us experienced in the past year? What will do differently? Have our priorities changed and how? Are there things what we took for granted, that we now see with different eyes?
Personally, my COVID experience was a bit of a revelation. I am one of the lucky ones who survived, and for that, I am grateful. I am also grateful for all of the outreaching hands and hearts in our community. I always knew that we were a tightly-knit community, but it took my own illness to really understand the extent to which our community lifts one another. The past two months have given me time to reflect on how easy it is to take things for granted and to feel more deeply what is REALLY important in life. I miss being with people – most especially, the hugs. We really do need each other!
As a Larchmont Temple family, we are on the path to being in person once again.
One of our upcoming events, that I am VERY excited about, will be partnering with the amazing Melanie Kraut for a “coming home” concert for all of you. Check out the flyer on the back page of the bulletin. I know that this is just the beginning of wonderful things to come.
With deep gratitude to all of you, my LT family,