life cycle

I put away the Pesach plates. I wrapped the pots, closed the food processor box, folded the table cloth, sealed the carton. And that’s it. Another Pesach has gone. I sat on a chair before putting away the Pesach stuff and closed my eyes. In front of me the Pesach of last year. Its guests, its food, its smells, its end. And how I wondered, sitting in the same chair, how the next pesach would be. How would be my life after a whole year. I remember I whispered a prayer in my heart. Please G-d make the next Pesach be exactly like this year. Make that, when I open the boxes on the next spring season, I make it with a smile. Let me be nervous only about the big number of guests I need to cook for. And nothing else. I get up from the chair and I put the last piece of cellotape on the brown box. I tap the top of the carton and help to bring it to the garage where it will rest for the next eleven and half months. I open the door of my kitchen and remove the aluminium foil on the counters, the refrigerator, cupboards and walls. I let the last smell of Pesach freedom fly away in the air. Bringing in Heaven all my prayers and those of my beloved nation. Image

The taste of freedom

What is freedom? Asked themselves Jews the day in which they left Egypt. What are we going to be? Went on saying those who did not dare to ask themselves such questions little before. What is the taste of getting up in the morning not being forced by anybody to do things you don’t want to? Dared to think people who were still bearing on their bodies the signs of a cruel slavery. Freedom is to sacrifice the god of your oppressors to the true G- d answered Moses explaining the rules about the Passover lamb. You are going to stop being the slaves of men. In order to be free to be the slaves of G-d, went on to explain Moses. You will taste the real freedom since the exact instant in which you will be commanded to observe the sanctity of shabat, when you will not enjoy anymore the opportunity to eat any kind of meat you might like, with the duty to eat only unleavened food during the days of Passover. Time went by. New generations arrived. People who did not find satisfying answers for the questions they had. Is this real freedom? Ask themselves Jews everyday when coming back from an uninterrupted seven days of work. Is this my true identity? Go on saying people who are not used to ask themselves what is the real purpose for which G-d put them in this world. Is this the true taste of freedom? Dare to think some Jews challenging a world that thinks Divine rules are a limitation for human expression. Freedom is to be able to think as a Jew. And not as the world wants you to, answers Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe, whose main purpose in life was to save his brothers and sisters from having similar thoughts and life approach to all other nations on this earth. Freedom has the taste of kosher food. Of matzah, maror and charoset. Freedom lies her. In the daily strenght to eat unleavened food when all the world around you eats chocolate eggs. Freedom is to be able to sit at a seder table and to tell without shame and fear the story of the Exodus from Egypt for the hundredth and thousandth time to your children. Freedom is this. To raise your head when the world would like you to stay down and cry. And shout with all the air you have in your lounges: am Israel is still chai. We are still here, thanks to all Moses of each generation. And no evil, no assimilation will ever have the power to erase matzah from our seder table.

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