The unconditional love of a mother for her baby begins even before the birth, as she is pregnant with this new life and pregnant with lots of thoughts about it. Everybody loves a good fast birth when the time comes! Raising that baby can have many slow moments too and as a parent you need to see and have supernatural power at times to get through tough times. There is no easy way out. Morphing from an embryo to a baby to a child to an adult is a process that takes the potential and makes it actual. It takes that person and his parent through an unsown Land.
Leaving Egypt is compared to a birth. Every person that gushed out of there in that sense of urgency was loved unconditionally. Mothers and fathers love their babies as they whine, scream, teeth, get sick, get well, and the whole adorable process as they turn into adults. They protect their child and of course infuse in them the right balance of lovingkindness but also the ability to fight back when necessary. They teach them righteousness. That was Hashem for us in the exodus and the entire 42 stops in the desert. There was disappointment I’m sure as we whined for food, screamed for water, complained- “Where is Moses!”. We walked and fell many times and Hashem held our hands in open miracles.
It was there, right around that bend in the path that Abraham took leading to the Jordan that things took a turn. On that sunny day in Nissan as we clocked in and got ready for Passover, it meant that it is not just about leaving but about coming in. It was about “Don’t cross the river if you can’t swim to the other side.” The mann stopped falling and the burnt Passover meat and matzoh took on a new meaning. It was actual food. We had to cook for ourselves and fight our own battles. Entering the Land of Hashem’s benevolence, everything seemed natural and as adults the fairy tales seemed to end. Israel set the table for themselves. Leaving Moses behind it was time to set up house.
The seder for me is a lesson in not only leaving a place, but also about going somewhere. With Hashem’s help always, our destiny is to Israel, the Land of revelation, a supernatural place that just seems so natural because in exile Hashem is concealed, therefore needs to at times be a superhero. In Israel you see Him in every aspect of your life, and also to live in such a time as now that we can actually say this is where we are headed – because Hashem has made a beautiful renovated home on our original ancient ruins. Geula is not a fairy tale where some angel is gonna bring a new Jerusalem out of the sky but its about taking responsibility to make it happen.
Ideally when your kids become adults you’ve been able to enable.
This is the lesson of Pesach. It doesn’t come without asking at least four questions and having drunk at times four cups of wine. It doesn’t succeed without hiding some of your stuff for them to find a bit later and eating a great big meal after discussing your roots as a family and as a nation.
Shabbat shalom! Chag Sameyach!