April 5th, 2012 by Julie Silver
The Torah teaches us that our freedom from slavery came only after ten harsh plagues were visited upon Pharaoh and the Egyptian people. We recite this list out loud at the Seder table, and with each drop of red wine that we spill, we are reminded of the cost of making the journey from narrow, confined places into freedom.
This is the story we reread each year, how negative consequences and harsh punishments moved a hard-hearted Pharaoh to, begrudgingly, let his slaves go free. And this is a good story, but my question is: what about the positive things? Can we take a moment to remember some of the good things we do that lift us out of slavery and into freedom?
Here’s a list of “Ten Passover Possibilities” which I’m introducing at our Seder this year. Feel free to use these as a “jumping off” point to discuss all of the good you bring to the world, because you DO BRING GOOD TO THE WORLD. As always, I encourage you to write your own list of possibilities. How do you act in a way that brings freedom to others? How do we march side by side with people whom we will never meet but to whom we are so inextricably linked? I know that we can’t erase the past, but a list of “Ten Passover Possibilities” might just embolden the people at your Seder to work towards eradicating some of the present-day plagues with which we are all so sadly familiar. Here’s my list:
1. Helping and asking for nothing in return
2. Asking for help even when it’s difficult
3. Agreeing to disagree
4. Rising to a new challenge or obstacle
5. Having faith in strangers
6. Giving away things that you no longer need
7. Telling your story no matter how hard it is to do so
8. Hearing someone else’s story
9. Creating from dreams
10. Singing your gratitude to the source of creation
Now go write your own. And have a liberating Passover!