Torah Portion – Recall the past; Look to the Future

January 11, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Torah Portion – Recall the past; Look to the Future

This week read the final three plagues, locusts, darkness and the slaying of the firstborn inner Torah portion this week. God describes the final plague to Moses and Aaron. Yet before that final plague is enacted, the Torah breaks from the description of the final plague to give directions of how the Israelites are to celebrate Passover in the coming years.

Through this, God is saying, “You are about to experience something great and awful and you will make a remembrance to this moment every year.”

While the people still remain enslaved in Egypt, God gives directions that will be passed down for the next thousands of years. God is looking at our distant future even when our present is especially difficult. God shows us the importance of hope for a redeemed future and recalling the past.

Often times, we can get bogged down in the details and stresses of every day. God tells us that we must also be concerned with our future.

I recall the last Passover Seder my family conducted with my mother. She was extremely ill and we had the seder in her room with all of us sitting around the bed. We were in the midst of tragedy, yet we still exclaimed, “we were slaves and now we are free.”

We looked to the future with hope. I have no idea how my father, brother and I celebrated Passover that next year. I do know it was more bitter than sweet. Despite this, we still came together and remembered the past of the last year and thousands of years ago for our people. We honored the past and we also looked to the future to more joyous times.

We did not feel joy that year, but we had hope that eventually, we would again in the future. The completion of the Seder was our great act of hope. Like the Jewish people in the midst of slavery, in our grief, we too had not given up on a better future.

When we, the Jewish people, observe Passover every year together, we are recalling both the tragedy of our slavery, the loss of life during the plagues, our freedom and most importantly, our collective hope for a future together.

I pray to God on this Shabbat that we all find ways to join together through our memories, our joy, and our hope.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Metz

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Torah Teachings