Passover is a wonderful holiday for getting together with friends and family. In fact, a Passover Seder is probably the most common Jewish practice in America. We like the ceremony, the special foods, and complaining about the Matzah. There is one thing you should know about Passover but probably don’t.
I just learned it, and my view of Passover has changed considerably. For me, Passover moved from being a holiday of Joy to a holiday of Joy AND an opportunity for spiritual growth. The Hebrew word for Egypt is translated as “narrow place.” Slavery in Egypt confined us to a narrow place, with constrictions on our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. The Exodus is the story of liberation from the things that hold us back.
Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlov (1772-1822) said, “The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year, and in every day.” I admit it – the quote gives me chills. What an amazing opportunity we have every day – to liberate ourselves from what holds us back. Each Choice Point* we face is an opportunity for liberation.
So the one thing you should know about Passover is that is is an opportunity for spiritual growth. Why not use this Passover as an opportunity to rededicate yourself to your Mussar practice? I suggest restarting with Enthusiasm, which teaches us to focus on proactively doing good things. And, it reminds us to finish the task. What is one small thing you can do to proactively to bring good into the world. And let me know if I can help!
*A Choice Point is the type of decision where we sit on the cusp of following the path of the Good Inclination or the Evil Inclination. See this post for more
If you are new to Mussar, the Four Week Challenge is a great way to get a taste.