Dancing with tambourines
Last year for Passover, my story featured women dancing with tambourines. One of my favorite teachings is that HASHEM saved the Jewish people on behalf of the women (Sotah 11b). As the Jewish people were running out of Egypt, the women grabbed their tambourines. Rashi explains: “The righteous women of that generation were confident that the Holy One, Blessed be He, would make miracles for them, so they prepared tambourines and dances.” (Exodus 15:20). In faith and trust in HASHEM, they readied themselves to celebrate with song and dance for the miracles they were sure Hashem would bring.
Can you imagine running for your life and of all the limited things you can carry, you choose a tambourine?
Fast forward… to U.S.A. 2022
Do you see the big photo at the top of this page of pots, pans, etc? This is the first year I am kashering my kitchen for Passover. It’s a big job. And I am doing only the light version. Tonight I cleaned out my refrigerator like crazy, scrubbing every shelf and nook and cranny, and cleaned out all traces of chometz. I went to Target earlier and bought pots, silverware, mugs (coffee is a must) and various sundries. I’ve just learned that I need to use separate “everything” for Passover and I am following directions.
Women dancing with tambourines… Preparing the Kitchen for Passover
The tambourines seem appealing…
It’s hard to truly imagine but the Jewish people during the time of Exodus had lived their entire lives in slavery under the cruelest conditions. As did their parents, grandparents and possibly generations back. Until G-d appeared to Moses at the burning bush and the plagues began, the Israelites had no human hope of an end to the suffering and torture they endured. Nor did there seem any hope for their children, their children’s children, and on and on. Knowing the end of this story, we can look back and admire the gumption of these women. But they didn’t know.
With this in mind, cleaning doesn’t seem so daunting. Along with the cleaning, scouring and searching for every last bit chametz… we are free of literal slavery.
Our sages say, ’In each and every generation a person must see himself as if he personally left Egypt.’
What does this mean?
For many years during Passover, I considered being freed from my own inner slavery. Whether it was a fear I couldn’t get past on my own or a false lens through which I saw the world, it was a huge relief to realize Hashem can and will take me out of my limitations.
This year I am focused on the fundamental literal meaning.
We, the Jewish people, were slaves. G-d freed us.
On the night of the seder, our nation first came into being… our brothers and sisters of the Exodus and us today… Klal Yisrael. We are the collective Jewish people. When G-d, with an outstretched hand and a strong arm took us out of Egypt… our nation was born.
Every year, we retell the story… to our children, to ourselves, and we celebrate and remember. If not for G-d taking us out, we would still be slaves today.
I am the L‑rd your G‑d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
These pivotal words are the FIRST of our TEN COMMANDMENTS.
The need for the tambourines do not leave us. Yes we clean out refrigerators, stove tops, cabinets, etc. But it is still up to us to bring the tambourines, and to focus on loving our fellows. We are Am Yisrael.
The telling of our Exodus story connects us with our history, our people, and our Torah. Our oneness lasts throughout time.
More than three thousand years ago, the women of the Exodus chose trust… Now in year 2022, we can choose trust that Hashem will bring about a bigger liberation than we can imagine.
What celebration will we plan? How do we come together again in trust and celebration? What are your ideas? Please share… Let’s keep this party going.
Love, Vivi ©
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Tambourine Photo from Canva.com
2 thoughts on “Passover’s Coming!”
Happy Pesach! We will be celebrating with a Seder at the temple, which I co-chaired.
Beautiful. Mazel Tov!! What wonderful services you are giving to your community. They are fortunate to have you 💞