See You on the Other Side


It is that time. It is here. Time to pack up the things that will fit into a bag. Including the gold. And the timbrel. The timbrel that Miriam will take up in celebration. The one she uses when she prophecies. In this rush of things, of choosing what to take, what will fit...decisions are made. Quick, but not without intention. And then it is time. We must leave--now. You and me. We leave together.

I am lucky. I know the outcome. I know the waters will open. I am no Nachshon. Jumping into the water. Daring to believe, to make reality happen. It is said that the waters did not part until it was up to his nostrils. That no one else, out of the thousands of us, dared to make the first move until him. And the waters did not part until his leap of faith, until his action of jumping in. He believed in a miracle.

Can I believe in a miracle? Can I recognize my own capacity for accepting and helping to create miracles? Rabbi Cheryl Peretz wrote "I pray that we find excitement and exhilaration in the miracles of our world, while at the same time recognize the difficulty in recognizing something so miraculous." This Passover, may we all be like Nachshon ben Aminadav by allowing ourselves to risk being nose deep in order to participate in G-d's miracles. May we all celebrate together on the other side--timbrels in hand, participating in the miracle, celebrating the miracle, supporting and loving and living in the moment!

But in this moment of celebration, of realizing we are free, in this moment of redemption, let us also pray a prayer--dream a new path to freedom...

Shekhinah, soften our hearts and the hearts of our enemies. Help us to dream new paths to freedom, so that the next sea-opening is not also a drowning; so that our singing is never again their wailing. So that our freedom leaves no one orphaned, childless, gasping for air.

[Adapted from The Journey Continues: Ma’Ayan Passover Haggadah, by The Jewish Women’s Project, a program of the JCC on the Upper West Side, p. 21.]