I love when Passover and Easter line up. Although I know it is not exact, this year’s first night seder falls a couple days before Easter just as Yeshua’s last supper and his resurrection were within days of each other, the holy timing helping to bring us into the rhythm of these days as when He dwelt among us. As we partake of this holy meal we can more deeply experience what it may have felt like some 2000 years ago. . .
At Passover we commemorate our freedom from bondage as slaves in Egypt. What a joyous time, Mi Chamocha! And yet, after that, we wandered in the wilderness, some never to even make it to the Promised Land. How similarly must the Apostles have felt after that Passover when Yeshua died on the cross. Here they had witnessed such miracles, and yet, He bled and died just like any man.
The tumult of the days between Yeshua’s last Passover and His resurrection is as a microcosm of our lives today. We seem to be living in a time of struggle and hardships that comes before the full revelation of Olam Haba, the World to Come. In one sense, that is our lives as individuals – the miracle of our births, the many blessings in our lives, and yet, amidst pain and suffering, illness and loss, but ultimately life with our Creator. And universally, although we experience many times of beauty, tikkun olam, love, and His grace as mankind, we also know that tragedy is a reality as well. It is as between Passover and the resurrection, the time between holy glimpses, filled with scourge and pain, yet ending with eternal life.
As Notre Dame burned this week, many stories surfaced of heroism amidst pain and loss. I found the image of the cross shining over the ash-filled interior above the glow of still lit votive candles a strong statement of His steadfastness as well as ours. The bringing together of so many from all over the world who have pledged millions for the cathedral to be rebuilt reminds us that there is good, and hope for unity even in these divisive times. Perhaps some of those whose hearts were so moved will similarly be moved generously to help those less fortunate. So many are starving. Perhaps these acts of giving will encourage more acts of giving. Perhaps Notre Dame coming to such calamity and beginning recovery during these holy days will provoke more thinking about God, and about good, about choices, and about the impermanence of what is of man.
Yeshua did resurrect. Humanity’s struggles will resolve. We can remember the bondage, take strength in the times of grace, and work to make this place better than we found it. As we remember the struggles of bondage and rejoice for our freedom, as we feel the loss of Yeshua’s life and celebrate His resurrection, may we strive to overcome life’s losses and build a future that anticipates our lives with Him.
Chag Pesach Sameach and Shabbat Shalom.