Ma Nishtana? What has changed? Passover Seder 2017
Sometimes it takes an evening for a deeper question to come up. In our family’s Passover Seder Dinner, my son in law, came up with one. Why does the story always need to start from the suffering of Children of Israel. Is it an imperative beginning for a story which concern inner development?…is it a necessary drive…that things start from a distressed place, from a lack, from feeling less, having less, not being content… cruelty, pain etc. ? can’t we have by now a different story? a more positive and developed story?
I woke up this morning thinking just about that.
The actual Biblical story starts from Abraham not Moses- it starts with a cosmic promise of Redemption that God promised him and all of his off springs (including the 5 sons he had with Keturah which were “sent off to the east with ‘gifts'”). It’s a cosmic promise that all suffering/slavery will eventually end up with freedom. It is in the DNA of our essence. So, it is Abraham’s experiences which start this universal story and set the grounds up. God says to him: “Go to the place that I will show you…” Yes, this God also told him just before that, to leave some familiar things behind; parents, homeland etc. but in general, it is a great positive direction…to align with a consciousness which is different from what was known to him in his village up to now. Perhaps this separation is a necessary ingredient. (The definition of holy is that which is separate from the mundane). Abraham goes through 10 tests which measure and develop his faith in this Unnamable Power which appeared as a call in his life. This God or Source/Keter is that which everything came from, belongs to and will return to. If we seek Truth, we eventually start to see that we are creatures that are position in a very perplexing spot in Creation, right in between this Divine level and the physical surviving level, in between influences/ powers pulling us in different directions. We love something or enjoy something and then it’s taken away, all is changing and i am not fast enough, I am stumbling behind, it’s a constant paradoxical drama, and I am being asked to think dialectically and to love and to bare and I do not have what it takes to Be in it.
Returning to Abraham, his tenth test was letting go of his son, Isaac, that which he loves the most. It is being translated mistakenly as The Sacrifice of Isaac instead of the Binding of Isaac.(Binding to God…?) That interestingly, corresponds to the Ten Plagues of the Passover story which is also translated mistakenly- the Hebrew is the Ten Strikes. By passing that test with Isaac, Kabbalah says, Abraham insures a permanent Divine presence here in our world! Something high is now available, something which was not available before….interesting.
So, is this an example of the suffering of the One for the benefit of the rest of us. Like in the Yeshuah/Jesus story, whom many believe went through the same journey. The different perhaps is that in one story it is a test coming from God with a different, more positive ending while in the other story, Yehushuah is being killed by others ‘for the sake of his God’ (למען קידוש השם)or again to be closer to the Hebrew: ‘for the sanctification of the Name’. His death/suffering meant more than anything else to wake people up and obviously his message is one with Abraham his ancestor. Like the message of many other ‘Men of God’ and Avatars.
Each and every authentic doctrine will require full participation of its followers in the process of redemption meaning; the miraculous will take place when I am much cleaner of negativity, free inside and available to receive something new. Is anything that will contribute to this movement ok? The good and the bad? Look at life and see…
Sometimes what it takes is a feeling of a lack. Sometimes strikes. Lack is not negative when it serve the Higher, when it leads to awakening.
And so, doesn’t anything, good or bad, always eventually at the service of redemption? I do not know… what if it leads to violence and cruelty…how does it than, still serve the Higher..? this is what we see in the holy text as for instant the Ten Plagues. Don’t we need to get rid of the negative story in order to stop its perpetual suffering? Are we today on a higher conscious level and the biblical story pulls are back down to what we already worked on so hard to get rid of?
Is that what we are really asking Daniel? Is this the paradigm shifts we see happening in the world today?
And the miraculous is when I read the well know Psalm which says when
” Adonai (YHWH) is my Shepherd, I shall not miss/lack anything…”
so do we need to go again and again, over and over the same story of suffering to get to the land of milk and honey? perhaps not necessarily,
it depend on the mission of our soul, on where we are in that long story, what spiritual type we are, our internal and external age. But we have a unified story that is true, a text we call holy which promises to supply us with instructions which will deliver us from a narrow place/house of bondage to a wider open freer place. The reason why I even write about that, after a rich spiritual education which included spiritual thinkers like Gurdjieff, Kaballah Masters, Krishnah Murthi and others which all concentrate on the universal principles of life instead of following blindly a flag, is because of what is happening in the world today. It seems that what we need today in this world of us is not a new religion which I once use to think we do, but a better understanding of the old. Most people’s identity is still there in the old traditions ready if not to kill or die for them at least to not be speaking to ’the others’ on the other side, the different ones. Most people in their semi-numb state, believe that the truth belongs to their camp. I have seen reform and conservative Rabies who when referring to Orthodox Rabbies speak of ‘them’ and ‘us’ and I thank God that I was not raised on the laps of this attitude. So perhaps gratefulness is a good state to wish for.