Funny enough, I found myself staring at a fish. Then I noticed a bull barreling in from above. A pitcher, not of baseball … but of water, urging itself up into my frame of vision, the whole time being acutely aware that something was aiming an arrow at my heart, piercingly … lovingly. And, all the while, deep in my awareness, or really just pressing upon the back of my head, was this idea of two instead of one, like my mother, like my son, like my little brother from California who was once coming to visit me in the Middle East. There was a crab and a ram, and there was a lion, like my father, and there were others, too…
I knew when I had finished it that I would need to sleep, and then to learn, and then to walk and to dream. When I awoke, it was minutes before our maids from Faradis, a town named by traveling Crusaders, came to do the standard bi-monthly cleanup. Waking in this nature was not usual, as I work through the night, normally, and find it difficult to arise with the sun … in the morning. It seems I had prepared my subconscious for the day ahead, however. So, I ran through my routine. And then, after the allotted time, I found myself having a vision on my hike through the nature reserve with my black and white dogs. I realized that, having been acutely aware that I was to spend the rest of the day in my kitchen scouring the refuse, the khumetz, the risen and rotten fluff from the year past, I envisioned the Hebrews leaving their homes. What could possibly cause such an exodus? We all have homes, and we all understand how difficult it must have been for them to up and leave everything they knew and, more importantly, understood.
There was a secret here … suffering below the surface. It had something to do with suffering … The obvious take is that the Hebrews were slaves, suffering their master's whims. I think, though, that it must be deeper than that. I mean, God is infinite. God put the Hebrews there in the first place … but why? Some would say that God is an illusion, like the Greek and Roman gods of old. Some will say that it isn't important to dwell on such things, and that the real world is about experiencing life and living while you are able. Others will say other things … but, what I think is … that, not only is there one God but that he was lonely, which was the only reason that he made us in the first place. I mean … can you imagine being an infinite being with no one to share it with? It would be like being the last man, a book-loving librarian in a post-apocalyptic world, with an unusable smashed pair of reading glasses getting crunched under your clumsy feet.
If I was God I would have given my right arm for someone to talk to, someone to share it all with; and that is what I think happened. God must have had to constrict his infinite self just enough to leave a pocket of space, and I mean 'real' space, as in outer space. Now, if it was me then I would probably have suffered a bit giving up my right arm, but I would have known in the deepest core possible that it was totally worth it.
This is what Passover must mean then: to have gone through the crucible, suffered as much as is possible as a people, only to reemerge thousands of years later into a greatness of being. The Jewish people have outlasted an onslaught of terror throughout the ages, since their inception … as two million souls stood before God at Mount Sinai. From the get-go they were challenged, harangued, and slaughtered, but were able to pass this special awareness on from grandfather, through sons, from grandmother and through daughters … and speak to us all today, having partaken in the one and only ‘group’ revelation of God and our world known to mankind. That's why I chose to be Jewish. Based upon what I knew about the world, it was the most rational thing I could have done.
Pesakh Sameakh and Shabbat Shalom!