“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” These words of Will Rogers emphasize the importance of forward motion. Passover’s Seder specializes in building momentum. Fifteen sections of the Haggadah align with the fifteen progressive milestones of Dayenu. Irrepressible striving is the way of our people.
Ridding our homes of Hametz this week can remind us of our Torah portion’s efforts to vacate them of spiritual pollutants (Lev. 14:33-53). Consider some contemporary reflections along the fifteen-steps in preparation for your pilgrimage.
Sacred (Kadesh) “‘And God saw that it was good’ This is the challenge: to reconcile our experience with God’s view.” Abraham Joshua Heschel
Cleanse (u’rchatz) “None of us is as bad as the worst thing we’ve ever done.” Bryan Stephenson
Spring (Karpas) “To live is to be slowly born.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Split (yachatz) “Nobody has ever been insulted into agreement.” Arthur Brooks
Tell (Magid) “A child is an orphan when it has no parents; a nation is an orphan when it has no children.” Hasidic
Bathe (Rochtza)“How do you know when a sin is pardoned? When you stop committing it.” Reb Bunem
Bless (Motzi) “We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” Brene Brown
Pesah Bread (Matzah) “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou
Bitter (Maror)“Grief is a demanding companion.” Sheryl Sandberg
Blend (Korech)“We so often reject the very people and things that carry the secrets of belonging.” Timothy Shriver
Bounty (Shulchan Orech)“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” Cynthia Ozick
Surprise (Tzafun)“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore
Gratitude (Barech)“I began to experience the most powerful advantage of money: the ability to think of things besides money.” Tara Westover
Praise (Hallel) “If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Carl Sagan
Be pleased (Nirtza) “If you don’t like how the story ends, turn it into the middle of the story.” Harold Kushner
The fifteen Seder sections draw their inspiration from the fifteen steps up to Jerusalem’s Temple. Martin Luther King once said, ”Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” May momentum’s moments impel us forward into a season of growth.