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Friday, April 6, 2012
Crossing the Sea
I shared what is written below in a message to a dear friend, teacher and colleague living with tremendous courage and grace and an incurable brain tumor earlier this week, in regard to Passover and whether it is the story of the past or present. I think she and I are pretty much in agreement about this. Pesach begins this evening and lasts for eight days.
"I don't think of the story of the Exodus as the past so much anymore. I used to, and there is no denying that history is involved (ancient and our own personal history). Now, however, I read the text and recognize that it is the story of the present, perhaps even more so than the past. And maybe this is the kavanah, the intention for retelling it again and again, generation to generation. Every time we re-read it, it wakes us up to this deeper understanding.
Every single day we live the perils, the anxiety, the fear, the awe, the magnificence, the joy, the impossibility of crossing between the walls of a raging sea, Pharaoh's army (those inner fears and very real dangers brought on by disease) following us...and the miracle, the true miracle of living and breathing in this exact moment. This to me is the liberation the story of the Exodus is teaching us about. If we can learn to live with our fears and love this moment anyway, hold it all and find that balance you wrote about so beautifully (in her post), then and only then can we taste freedom; the maror and sweet charoset balanced on a fragile matzoh. I think that is a pretty good metaphor for life, with or without illness."
The photo is not exactly the sea of reeds, but it is a narrow passageway of water in a container, crumbling (fragile) terracotta on one side, black walls (the unknown) on the other and life (trees and the sky) reflected in the water.