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Torah Commentary
Pesach (April 7, 2012)

Rabbi David M. Posner

As we begin our Passover celebrations, may we and all whom we love be inspired by the remembrance of the miracles wrought for our ancestors even in ancient times. May our sacred memories and our beloved Temple continue to be for us a source of courage and of strength, reminding us that as our ancestors repeatedly triumphed over despair, so may we never lose hope in our future.

There can be no doubt that the vast majority of people in this world always have lived in dire straits. This holds true even in our own time. And if the ravages of nature — poverty and disease — were not enough, there are forces of cruelty and oppression that continue to bring fear and misery to so many, so often. Those who suffer often accept their fate as destiny.

Judaism, however, affirms otherwise. Judaism believes that history and society eventually will be perfected and that the ultimate reality is not fear and subjugation but freedom, security and peace.

How do we know this? We know this from the Exodus. The Exodus from Egypt teaches us that much of history — even life today — is a deviation from the ideal, and the paradigm of that ideal is derived from a historic experience — from the Exodus from Egypt. This was the first time in human history when the idea was expressed that God is concerned, that God cares about human suffering and that the God of the Jewish people who acted in the Exodus is the God of all humankind.

So, beloved Temple members, from what source will we derive our strength and our hope to sustain our belief that life can be better and that we shall endure? We, once again on Passover, will derive this from of the memories of the Exodus — “So that you remember the day you went out of Egypt all the days of your life.”

Sweet Passover wishes to you all.

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