Chol Ha-Moed Shabbat

It’s eight days to Passover and I’m already crazy with getting ready for the turn-your-house-into-a-sanctuary holiday. How can I make the kitchen and pantry clean enough, how can I lift the seder table and its participants off the ground a little? And then I look outside and I see those little tulip leaves pushing through the hard, cold earth and know my work is easy. In fact, by the time you read this you will have been through your own labors and now are enjoying the leftovers. Pesah is the holiday that celebrates our birth as a people. We left the narrow birth canal, i.e. Egypt, and emerged from the broken waters of the Sea of Reeds. Our preparatory effort is birthing labor, too. We shop, clean, and prepare for the talk-feast, the drama that travels us back in time until we reach the place where we feel the terror and despair of slavery, and the ecstasy of freedom. May the journey carry you to a birthing of a new self, and let our ancestors’ story teach us that we should never be ashamed of our past enslavement. How you begin is not as important as what you become.