The Passover journey that commemorates the courageous Exodus from enslavement in Egypt to an unknown Promised Land was celebrated by Jewish people around the world this week in April 2020, albeit on Zoom, making this night surely different from all other nights!
I’ve always seen this story as one of the best examples of moving though transition with as much joy and optimism as possible. It sure seems we need that now!
Our world is currently turned upside down with COVID-19. We have been slowed down enough, God willing, to connect to ourselves, nature, and each other in new ways. Through that stillness many are finding creative ways of being together in their families and communities.
I feel sorrow for the losses so many experience, gratitude for the courage of our frontline workers, and encouragement as many acts of lovingkindness become more visible on a daily basis. This is something to celebrate.
My favorite part of the Passover story involves Miriam, Moses’ sister. Miriam was a midwife and prophetess. This powerful woman helped lead the Israelites on this most difficult passage. She and her midwives are known for playing a huge part in the Exodus from Egypt. (Yay feminine leadership!) They not only refused to kill newborns, but they also encouraged the birth of a new nation. You can read more about this here.
The Exodus story that we retell at Passover can be a metaphor for moving through difficult life transitions with courage, compassion, vision, and celebration. During the service we grieve for the loss of Egyptian lives during the plagues. We sing “Dayenu”, which reminds us that we have enough, even if it is much less than we are used to. And we hear the story of Miriam leading the people with joy and celebration.
Miriam knew there was something better on the other side of the treacherous journey out of slavery. She trusted in God enough that even entering into this unknown world, she made sure to bring her tambourines. She knew there would be time to celebrate, sing, and dance on the other side of the journey.
Both sorrow and the promise of future freedoms are held at the same time at Passover. I am finding this a necessary skill to learn and practice during this time.
My own focus on the beauty that awaits me on the other side of many life transitions has always helped me weather the storms and truly manifest something even greater than I could imagine on the other side of whatever trial I was going through.
It may take many months for us to get to the other side of this virus. Hang in there. I pray we can all find some moments, amidst the difficulties and adjustments we are making, to see into the future. The more we believe there will be much to celebrate on the other side of this transformational time, as Miriam did, the better chance we have of collectively helping that to become true.
May we stick together in this times, connecting and supporting each other in new ways that bring the best of humanity to the forefront of our lives.
Many blessings. Analesa