“Passover” – the word brings to mind the amazing saving of our people as the Angel of Death passed over the first born of the Israelites, not sparing those of the Egyptians. It was a seminal moment for our people, so defining that we are to relive it annually, viscerally, as we recite the Haggadah this week.

But passing over is not always a good thing, such as being passed over for a promotion. Or Sid will joke that the chocolate chips in that ice cream were passed over at 1000 feet, like hardly any were there.

Perhaps a more serious passing over occurs when we fail to dig into life. One of my dearest friends lives life in that space, not digging in too deeply. She has had some serious tragedies, and yet, doesn’t discuss the pain, even to those closest to her. That’s one way to deal with the problems all of us face at various times in our lives.

It seems that this is a time when many of my family, friends, and associates, and me personally too, are experiencing unusual challenges. In the group as a whole, we have all the bases covered – financial, health, relational, spiritual, emotional – a time of unusual adversity. And yet, this seems to be a time of unusual opportunity as well. We feel as if we are living in the tension between both worlds, the good and the evil with us at the point of struggle.

When we allow ourselves to fully engage, even deeply process the negative as well as the positive, we emerge all the more strongly out of the point of tension as we don’t just pass over the events, but rather, we deeply live them. How much more we appreciate the healing when we were so ill, how much gratitude for each small thing as we have lived without for awhile, how warm the kindness when we have been without, the job is a good one given we had none.

I hope as this season of Passover arrives that we choose to more deeply engage in life, both the challenges and the blessings, and not just pass over the events that define our existences. For we learn from the struggles, we grow in our capacities to withstand adversity as we prepare for what is to come, and more deeply experience the many miracles.

Chag Pesach Sameach and Shabbat shalom.


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