Passover A Fairy Tale? You Shall Tell Your Children
There is no doubt that the Exodus has a folklorical meaning.
The Exodus is an ethos of our identity and we remember it routinely in our prayers and blessings as a seminal event in our consolidation as the People of Israel.
However in Passover we have the opportunity to deepen in the Exodus and this is also probably the most important mitzvah (commandment) of the entire celebration: …”And You Shall Tell Your Son”…
It is pretty easy because even Disney made a movie with this fantastic story.
Passover is the Cinderella story of the People of Israel! You cannot ignore the similarities!
We were living in a home in which we were in a way part of the family; at some point everybody seems to forget it, then Cinderella is converted into very badly treated house cleaner, we into Slaves.
One day a prince came, more or less the same thing for us, and he redeemed her, with the help of a fairy, in our case “b’ezrat hashem” – with the help of God!
The rest is the transition from a very unfortunate position in life to freedom, or in her case finding love, we a bit later found love in and for Torah…
It is not enough for us to let our kids know about this story. We want them to internalize the message. In this case the emphasis is not on our redemption as a nation but rather our redemption as individuals embraced into a nation.
How do we know it?
“in each generation, each person is obligated to see himself or herself [lirot et atzmo] as though he or she personally came forth from Egypt”.
At this point you are probably asking yourself: What is he talking about? and Why is it being mixed with Cinderella!
I am trying to invite you to think, this time, about Passover as a fairy tale and to approach its meaning as an educational opportunity.
In Hebrew a very common expression to encourage someone who is going through a challenging time or situation in life is: If we passed (managed with) Pharaoh we will (manage) pass this as well!
When I think as a young parent what is the “job” of Passover’s story in my children’s education I see beyond their belonging to the Jewish people.I see Judaism giving me the opportunity to install a cornerstone in their emotional integrity.I see the opportunity to raise kids with the notion that even in hard times, when everything seems to be impossible and hopeless, things can actually be changed! We know as a People and as individuals that we can leave Egypt or every other dark place in this world. We know that I, You, We did it and even when the journey is your personal one we will be there to embrace you. Passover is the certainty that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we just need the faith to keep walking.
YOU SHALL TELL YOUR CHILDREN!