- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On March 24, 2017
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.
It is hard not to speak about the weather in New England. It’s still freezing in the spring and temperatures reach 80 degrees in the winter. Go figure.
But this we know. The spring holiday of Passover will soon be upon us because on this Shabbat, we announce the upcoming new month of Nisan. This Shabbat is called Shabbat HaHodesh, the Sabbath of the month. That is, the month in which Passover occurs. Though the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur always seem to be early or later but never on time, Passover, as dictated by Torah, must always occur in the spring.
The wintry wind blows away the snow
And knocks on the mountain window.
The bitter draught on the door
Withers the sleeping plum-blossoms,
But however much it despoils the flower,
Can it prevent the spring coming?
The winter has brought darkness and a bitter chill to the soul. Contraction and reduction have led to narrow places. That is what Egypt, Mitzrayim means. But Pesach dawns, as does our freedom, and with it, the moon expands to its fullest, and we grow with it. Our souls, withered no more, begin to awake to the rebirth of spring. The Song of Songs reminds us: Lo, the winter has passed, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth… (Song of Songs 2:11) The weather within can and will change. Outside is too unpredictable.
In just a few short weeks, we will gather around a table and tell the story how we shook off the shackles of slavery, the narrow place of degradation, to exalt and expand in praise and possibility. The narrative is a challenge and a demand to rise up from the Seder table to embody the spirit of the narrative. Though we have known despair, darkness, and deprivation, it is our turn, our renewed task and obligation to ensure repair and healing. With a full heart and a warm spirit, we turn to face humanity in need of us all.
We hope to greet you at Qabbalat Shabbat at 6 p.m. Live Webstream it HERE. Torah study begins at 9 a.m. with a short service followed by a lively discussion.
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 Yun Seon-Do, 17th century Korean poet