Last night I walked home listening to the Speaking of Faith interview with Avivah Zornberg about Passover. Much of the Passover observance centers around asking questions, Avivah Zornberg’s interview left me with 3 questions for this year:
- Exodus says that the Passover meal should be eaten in haste. There is a sense of urgency here. Do we have the same sense of urgency about today’s struggles for liberation?
- Exodus is a process. It begins with the first acts of revolt of the Hebrew midwives. It continues and Moses resists the exploitation when he is in Egypt, through the plagues, across the Red Sea, into the wilderness before the Israelites reach the promised land. Where are we in the process of liberation for this generation? What challenges does it face for us? What is our task at this stage?
- One of the key themes in the story is the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart. How have we hardened our own hearts? Whose suffering have we become indifferent to? To Iraqis? To Palestinians? To Israelis? To people who were formerly incarcerated? To the poor? To that family member who really gets on our nerves? How do we soften our hearts and avoid the pattern of Pharaoh?
I have thoughts about these questions, but no clear answers. Indeed, even to ask question 3 is a scary proposition, because when we open our heart we may find we are called to respond (and how to respond leads to even more questions). But still we must ask.