ZISSEN PESACH - by BM Cohen
Having been to well over 50 seders in my life, you would think that I would know what “Zissen Pesach” means. Much more than a sweet Passover. I found this excerpt recently which defines the wonder, joy, bitterness, sweetness, and above all, the miracle of redemption and finding happiness after the trials of suffering, that Passover embodies. It’s a wonderful message for all of us in our daily lives, and how we can be better people, and treat those around us with dignity and respect. So I say a “Zissen Pesach” to all, whether you are Jewish or not, to the women and men I deal with in the business world every day, to our politicians and leaders, and especially to myself and my family. May the joy and revelation of Passover fill you with positive thoughts over the next eight days:
The meaning of the words “Zissen Pesach”
In the Haggadah we read how, in each and every generation, we must see ourselves as though we personally went out from Egypt. This is a central message of Pesach, perhaps the fundamental experience of the whole seder. It’s not enough just to imagine what it was like for the Israelites as slaves leaving Egypt. On a gut level, we are to feel as though it happened to us: we literally taste the bitterness of slavery through the Maror, the bitter herb. We feel the wonder and terror of the plagues. We sing out in joy as we witness our Redemption. The Hebrew word “Haggadah” means “The Telling.” It is through the stories that we tell that we build our understanding of the world, of who we are, of the nature of Truth. The very identities that each of us hold as “ourselves” are really a collection of personal stories that we believe about ourselves. Through the experience of Pesach, we add to our personal narrative, the story of the redemption of our people. We hold in our deepest heart of hearts the Truth that the miracle of Redemption from suffering is possible for each and every one of us, because it happened to us—to “me”—in Egypt all those years ago.
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