Open Temple

Doing the Work

A message from Rabbi Lori:

Making it Meaningful…

What does Passover mean in 5784? As the concept of Freedom has become a universal trigger, Jews all over the world approach Passover with a personal revisionism this year. In Israel, they are saying “Lo b’Seder” – a pun playing with the Hebrew word for “all right” and the fact that we are “not all right” as well as an expression for who will NOT be present at the seder. Elijah’s cup and visitation are being revised through poetry and rituals; we are encouraged to add an empty seat with a yellow ribbon to our seder tables to keep the lack of freedom for the hostages prominent; some are even placing gauze on the seder plate as a symbol for the suffering and healing wishes we have for victims in Gaza (where the word originated through the weavers who lived there in the Ancient world). And on and on and on (read this article on Rabbi Stav of Shoham and how Israelis are re-valuing seder this year).

Regardless of how we feel – approaching Passover, or passing it over – this is undeniably a time for self-reflection. Half a year ago, we gathered at Yom Kippur and marked 50 years since the Yom Kippur War. Tomorrow night’s Passover seder will mark 200 days since 10/7. How are we doing?

The only response I have through this time is this: It’s time to do the work. Our Seder Crawl invites everyone into Radical Ritual; the cleaning we have ahead of us before Monday night invites us to begin with the outer work as we deepen our inner work; and our upcoming series Omer Ascent accompanies us into deepened spiritual development that calls to us from within.

My heart remains broken; my hope never fails; my love deepens with compassion each day as we read more and more about our broken world. May the Matzoh be a reminder of the work our ancestors did in setting their own seder table through troubled times and may we never be resigned to defeat; for our power to love and understand the Other is our Superpower and the essence of our journey around the Seder Table.

May this year we find Redemption for All.

With Love and a Blessing for Freedom from Bondage,

Rabbi Lori