Educationally Speaking – April 2019

Spring Time

Racheli Morris, Director of Education

Spring is a time filled with marvel, wonder, family, friends, rebirth, and blessing. It is interesting that Passover is also known by the name Spring Holy Day or Hag HaAviv.

Every Biblical Jewish holiday has a trifold meaning. One for history, one for spirituality, and one for agriculture. Passover exemplifies this perfectly.

Israel is along the same latitude as Southern California. This means that our seasons and weather can be very similar to Israel. Our desert is like the Negev. Our mountains have snow, so does the Golan. Our beaches are like Tel Aviv and so on. The Spring is full of new blossoms, new fruit, new animals. Passover is when we celebrate the creation of the Jewish people.

As for spirituality, the lessons of Passover start with a dry piece of matzah. It is simple in its ingredients only some flour and water. We too are simple in a sense. We are mostly water and a bit of minerals and chemicals just like every other living creature. What we do with our combination of those ingredients is the marvel of Passover. We chose God and God chose us to be a nation of priests, a nation to be holy just as God is holy. That simplicity when ordered correctly creates the possibility for love, family, friends, and blessing.

The idea of our slavery and being freed by God is the moment that allows us Jews to reject slavery in all its forms. We are meant to be free. For our freedom we celebrate Shabbat weekly. We speak directly to God. We have the opportunity to go beyond having a purpose to fit someone else’s needs to being our own selves and meeting our own needs.

The lesson of Passover is uniquely taught by one of the most dynamic teaching methods ever created. Experiential learning. As we gather and sing, laugh and pray as families and friends we make our Jewishness come to the foreground. It is ours to live in rather than to admire from afar.

For this Passover, whatever your viewpoint of the holiday, whether historical, spiritual or agricultural, it is my hope that you strive to ask yourself many questions and answer them as coherent units of Jews. I also hope that we continue to be open to seeing the holidays and ourselves through lenses that are not our first choice to explore through. May your Passover be joyous, correct and meaningful.