Monday, April 2, 2012

PESACH - Seder - To Reenact/leaving mitzrayim

When The French Emperor, Napoleon,  was running for his life, retreating through Russia with his armies, he once ran into a store to hide. The sympathetic French bed-shop owner hid him under a pile of mattresses. Moments later, Russian soldiers came charging in demanding to know the whereabouts of Napolean. "He is not here, ," said Pierre, the store owner. One soldier seeing the pile of mattresses, dug his sword right in. "If he's hiding under there he's surely dead by now" he said.
And they left the shop
But the sword missed Napoleon.. "Pierre," Napolean said to the store-owner,"you saved my life! How can I repay you?"
"I have everything I need, thank you," replied Pierre. " But tell me, what did it feel like hiding under those mattresses?"
Napoleon was livid. " What!?? -Do you know who you're talking to?! I am Napoleon the Emperor of the French empire!" he roared.
"Guards! Take him to the firing squad,".
Poor Pierre was standing with his hands tied behind his back, whispering his last prayers. Four soldiers drew their guns, awaiting the order to fire.
Suddenly Napoleon appeared. "Free this man!" he commanded. He then turned to Pierre and said, 
"You wanted to know how I felt under those mattresses, "Now you know."

While historians can debate whether this actually happened, we can certainly take a lesson from it.
When we commemorate the Exodus, everything that we do to reenact the story helps us to actualize the experience. By eating matzah, specifically handmade matzah, as our ancestors prepared in Egypt, we relive the episode in a dramatic and genuine way. We recall the haste in which the Jews left Egypt—they didn't even have time to let the dough rise. Through eating bitter herbs, we remember the bitterness of the slavery. With the drinking of four cups of wine, we relive the joy of liberty, reclining expansively like free men.
like them, we too can experience true freedom from our oppressors--be they the "Pharaohs," psychological inhibitions or spiritual obstacles. On the night of the Seder we are released from their chains. It is a night when our essential spark is permitted to shine; when we overcome the limitations that prevent us from being the person that we want to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment