Going back to the Exodus from Egypt, when we safely crossed the Sea of Reeds, we danced and sang out joyously in our newfound state of freedom. There we WERE: on the other side of the sea with all the possibilities that awaited us, and here we ARE: always on the cusp of what was and what can be. From last Pesach to this, we’ve had more time than expected to reflect on the symbolic constrictions of Mitzrayim in our lives as well as what good has come from those experiences.
We’ve experienced freedom FROM the routines we took for granted and freedom TO: opportunities to re-invent. Freedom FROM not realizing how interconnected we were with the rest of the world and freedom TO: realizing how extensive and delicate that interconnectedness can be. Freedom FROM assuming who will be in our day-to-day physical lives and freedom TO: finding new ways of creating community from afar as we encounter illness and loss of loved ones.
We are always dancing this dance of what was and what can be. We dance with others even as we create our own individual choreography. During this Pesach, may we symbolically dance through the doorway with Elijah and expand our understanding of the freedom we have to live our lives with more compassion. May the isolation and loss experienced by many since last Pesach be met with deeds of loving-kindness in the year to come.
Nancy Kassel is the cantor of Temple Beth Tikvah.