Greetings from Israel, where I am visiting two of my sons and their families for Passover.
Tomorrow night, Jews all over the world will celebrate Passover by having a seder and reading the Haggadah.
The most obvious meaning of the story of the Exodus is the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt to freedom, first into the Wilderness, and then a greater freedom when they entered the Land of Israel.
Many commentators go beyond seeing the slavery as the condition where our ancestors had to toil every day at work forced on them by the ancient Egyptians, for which they received no pay and were treated cruelly. They understand the slavery was also a loss of spirit, caused by living among a people that had bad morals. The freedom was being in a condition where the Children of Israel came to learn the commandments of God and the proper way to treat people, animals, and our natural environment. The climactic spiritual event in this freedom was receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai, supported by God’s completion of his promise to the Patriarchs that their descendants – including you and me – would have the Land of Israel in which to practice those commandments.
Using this view, consider what Passover and the ceremony of the seder mean for your spirit. What are the things that harm your spirit? Are you upset with a friend? Do you have a bad habit you would like to break? Did you hurt someone and you don’t know how to make things better? How could you resolve these problems? You don’t have Moses to lead you on this journey, but you have your parents, teachers and friends. Talk to them about the things that bother you. Perhaps together you can find a way to handle them.
Shabbat shalom, and Happy Passover!