Thursday, March 26, 2009


Not all Talmudic citations from the tractate Pesachim deal directly or exclusively with Passover-their implications can be far-reaching like the one I encountered in my studies today.
When discussing the requirement to search for the leaven in order to burn it-remove it-the notion of light emerges at the center of the Talmud's deliberations.

"A man should always enter (a town) by day ie. in a circumstance of light, 'and it was good' and set out(of town) by day ie.when it is light,when surrounded by the condition of 'and it was good.' (Pesachim 2a-2b)

If read literally, one could understand the phrase this way : One should enter in a state of -and it was good- and one should leave in a state of -and it was good!
In other words, I believe that the Talmud conveys a profound meaning of how to relate not only to Passover but to all of life as well.
Our lives are made up of comings and goings; they may be physical-going from one location to another, whether to work, school, shopping, the doctor's office, to a movie, to a wedding or a funeral.
Movement also takes place in terms of life's many changes and cycles-these too can be characterized as comings and goings. Our internal lives-our ways of thinking and feeling, our moods and dispositions, our frames of mind and heart are never static-in a constant dynamic flow, they are always in motion, coming and going.
The Talmud bids us to refer to the Biblical statement of Genesis-'and it was good'-as spiritual guidance for our lives. As we journey to the Seder table and beyond, if only we could incorporate the attitude of -and it is good-in all our movements and experiences, every step of our way through life, how grateful and liberating this could be.
Perhaps,in sharing this suggestion the Rabbis hint at the very nature of the meaning of freedom. Wherever we go-in our comings and goings-we can choose to travel not only light but gratefully and hopefully, viewing the landscape around us through the lens of -"And it is good."
When searching to remove the leaven from our hearts, let use make use of the light therein and shine away the darkness.

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