I don’t know what it means to wish people a Happy Pesach this year, we’re living the closest circumstances to its origins in a lifetime. But I hope everybody, both Jew and everyone with us in spirit today, has new appreciation for all this’s meaning. As important as the High Holidays are, tonight is Judaism’s root: that a higher power, whomever that power is, heard our suffering, and this divine incarnation set about the task of delivering us from it. But whether this higher power is God, or Elohim, or Hashem, or El Shaddai, or a collective of Gods, or the universe itself, this divinity does not seem quite as powerful as we’ve always assumed he is, and perhaps that is why he is such a jealous god. The task of saving us from our suffering seems an eternal task, and still very nearly insurmountable. Once we were delivered from slavery, the real work of saving us from suffering began, and it would seem that we are still in the first half of that seemingly infinite work.
The Tanakh ended when this work was still barely begun, so perhaps we must entertain that the work of saving us from our agonies is always meant to be incomplete. Rather, the work always continues, to this day and millennia well past hereafter. The literal meaning of Israel is ‘he who wrestles with God’. No matter what many teach, both within Judaism and without, if there is a god, then he clearly does not want us to submit to his will, and there is no anointed messiah nor will there be who speaks for him or her or them or us or it with any more authority than each of us do ourselves for ourselves. To wrestle and struggle with the meaning of being is Judaism’s true meaning, and everything else is an impediment to Judaism, detracting from the potential meanings of life rather than adding to them. It’s up to each of us in this world of chaos to find our own meanings and add our brief chapter of meanings to Judaism’s long story, just as the people before us had to, and just as our children and all their descendants one day will. We are a collective, Klal Yisrael, and within that collective we are all individuals who add to the collective meaning, and within that tension between Kevah and Kavanah, new meanings are always discovered. And so on Pesach, my most greatest wish for you dear reader, is to find greater meanings in your experience.
Chag Sameach, Gut Yontif, A Zissen Pesach, oo’Moadim l’Simcha,