Sunday, April 9, 2017

Moving out of Bondage toward Freedom


בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ, כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרָֽיִם
In each and every generation, it is every person's obligation 
to see herself/himself/themselves 
as if she/he/they personally has/have come out from Mitzrayim. 

Mitzrayim - the narrow straits of bondage. The Talmud tells us that only 20 percent of the Israelites actually left Mitzrayim. The other 80 percent identified so fully as Egyptian that they didn't want to leave.

What is it that we don't really want to leave behind? 

And what is it that pulls us toward making that break toward freedom?

Most of us are a mix of the 80 percent and the 20 percent-- 
with, perhaps, slightly different numbers.

It is so very difficult to leave our bondage.

We are enslaved.
We are enslaved by fossil fuels.
We are enslaved by racism.
We are enslaved by privilege.
And so much more.

We resist.
We resist freedom due to apathy.
We resist freedom due to exhaustion. 
We resist freedom due to despair.
And so much more.

What is it 
that can push us out of our personal Mitzrayim
to begin the journey
that will take us 
to that terrifying place
where we stand,
seemingly helpless,
between the army and the sea?

What will it take
for us to put our first foot forward
and take one step
and then another,
to begin the long journey
out of Mitzrayim?

What has the power
to enable us 
to step into the sea
and keep on walking
until the water 
is up to our noses?

How can we find 
the strength we need?

For each of us, 
the answer is different,
very personal,
and for each of us,
the answer is the same,
totally universal.

And so, on this Passover night,
let us do this together.
Let us take the step,
the first step out of Mitzrayim,
out of bondage,
the first step into the sea,
into the unknown--
knowing that when we do,
others will follow,
knowing that when we do,
the waters will part,
and we will cross over
to a new place
beyond our imagination
where we are different,
where we are free.

Chag sameach - may you have a blessed and meaingful Passover.
Rabbi Katy

Rabbi Katy Allen is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long, the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network. She is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spiritand is a former hospital and hospice chaplain. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Yonkers, NY in 2005 and lives in Wayland, MA.

No comments:

Post a Comment