Since returning home, I, too, have been reflecting on our Passover experience. And I’ve been floating all day, feeling as if I’m somehow lighter, higher, a more spiritual being than I was before last Thursday; feeling that I’m more connected, at one with the entire Jewish community. And all day an idea has been floating around my head. We all know that we are to view ourselves as if we had actually left Egypt, but I think that we all did more than that. I think that we were not only acting as if we were in exile, I think we actually relived the drama of the Exodus. I don’t know how this is possible, but if one believes that the Exodus is deeply engrained within our psyches, that we have a collective unconscious, and that spiritual energy is unleashed during this time period, a reliving becomes possible.
Since returning home, I’ve been reading about Passover; and the more I read about Passover, the stronger my belief becomes that we were “channeling” our ancestors, that we were not only playing out roles, we were not merely acting as if, but we each became an ancestor, that somehow their ancient souls entered our bodies, that some of us became Moses, and others became Aaron. And Miriam - several of the women changed into her, savior of our savior, challenger of the holy man who would lead us to the Promised Land.
Many of us became the complaining Israelites – dissatisfied, bitter, and fearful that our needs would go unmet, that we would not be protected, that our leader would fail us, and that we would be abandoned by our God.
And we were slaves.
And we were stuck in our narrowness.
And we were unholy.
Also, in our tent were the Jews who remained behind, terrified to leave, fearful of the unknown; lacking faith in our leader, lacking trust in our God.
And the Egyptian mothers who begged us to save their children’s lives were crying at our locked doors. But the plague passed over our homes; and we did not shelter them. Perhaps Pharaoh was present as well, his heart hard like stone.
Yes, we fulfilled our obligation to tell our story to our children, but we did more than that: we became the story. We became the children. And we each became the child we held inside of us for so long: the buried child - hurt and scared, and alone. And we desperately longed not to be alone. We longed to be connected to a community, to belong to a family we never had.
Some say that each year at this time God gives us this opportunity to free ourselves, to be able to reach our spiritual potential, and a chance, if we take it, to be transformed.
Since returning home, I feel transformed. I feel as if I’ve traveled a long way, and journeyed to a new land. And in this new land everything feels different, but everything also feels the same.
Everything seems strange, but everything also seems familiar. I feel shaky and insecure, but I also feel strong and secure. And it feels as if I am somewhere else, somewhere deeper, somewhere past and ancient. But it feels as if I am also here in the present, in my life now, but now I am no longer alone: I am a member of the Village.
Offered by Ellen K.