March 2018

   There is a saying in the Talmud, “It is because of the merit of women that God freed us from bondage.”   As soon as Purim was over, we started to panic that Passover is only a month away!  As our mothers and grandmothers did, we start the shopping lists for cooking, we begin the cleaning, and we get ready for the main event, the seder.  The women, and now thankfully some of the men, undertake this task.

   Another saying: “God is in the details.”  At no season is that more apparent than in the spring, especially at Passover, the holiday of spring.  So, God and mothers and grandmothers have a great deal in common at this time of the year.  Their work is often done so reliably and competently that unless we pause to take notice, we may not appreciate the greatness in these details.

   Behind the central liberation story of our people is the bravery of Miriam, the saving of the baby Moses in the basket, the defiance of Pharaoh by the Hebrew midwives Shifra and Puah, who made sure that the male babies would live, and so on.  Our tradition treasures the value of the work behind the scenes and acknowledges the importance of details in Jewish life and community.  Doesn’t Passover, in particular, invite us to take notice of every crumb?  Such attention makes us mindful of, and grateful for, the great miracles of liberation and the small miracles of every day life.

   I invite you to attend our congregational seder on the second night of Passover, March 31.   We will recount the story of our liberation and joyously sing of the miracles.  Chag sameach!