Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Passover Inspirations

I have written before about the slogan that I associate with posters and fabric wall hangings from the 70's that proclaimed "Bloom Where You Are Planted" (see this post, for example).  It's one of those sayings that because of its ubiquity, I rarely see anew.

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat recently wrote a post that made me think about that process of blooming, of how explosive it can be, and perhaps even painful:  "Can you imagine what it's like to be a tulip curled into a bulb, waiting patiently through the long and perhaps snow-covered winter for the indescribable call to unfold, to stretch toward the light, to shatter and expand and become something glorious and new?"

She discusses this blooming in the context of the Passover story:  "The Pesach story is like that. It's the beginning of our unfolding into the nation we continue to become. As a people we were curled into a tight place until we were brought forth from there -- maybe by the same ineffable force that whispers to tulip bulbs when it's time to burst free and emerge from underground."

I find it interesting to consider how we react to that whisper.  Some of us can never make a move--we might stay curled in our tight places forever--after all, it's warm there, with a steady paycheck, and we know what to expect from our cramped quarters.

When we think about Passover, we may not think about flowers and blooming.  Rachel brings up one of them:  "We realize that we don't need to stay where we are. We realize that we could choose to risk the unknown, even though it's scary, even though we don't know what lies ahead. The Pesach story says: take the leap. Step into the sea and trust that it will part for you."

I love this vision that says that the sea won't part until we've waded into it.  Once I posted this inspiration in a prominent place:  "Leap and the net will appear."  I like Rachel's wording better.

In this season of spring holidays, let us not lose sight of our blooming, the seas that lay ahead of us, the resurrection that is possible.

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