Are you coming?
The Rabbis tell us that not all the Children of Israel left, at the moment of Exodus. Some preferred to stay, almost literally, with the devil they knew – the simple, if foul, life of a slave. The ones left behind preferred the consistency and reliability of slavery to the radical frightening call to hike off into the desert with only a pillar of smoke to lead the way.
There is a comment in one of my many Haggadot which suggests that there were originally five children. The wise, wicked, simple and silent children we all know so well. And a fifth who when invited to join the family on the Seder desisted, resisted, reprioritised or simply wasn’t bothered. Meanwhile the Hagadah text itself demands that everyone has to see themselves as if they themselves went forth from Egypt.
In so many ways this time of year asks the question, are you in, or are you out?
So, and particularly to the conversion candidates, but also the partners, I urge you to count yourselves as insiders. Take this personally. Eat the Matzah as if you personally left Egypt. Avoid the Chametz as it your personal connection to God depends on it. And come to celebrate as if this is indeed your celebration. For indeed it is.
This year three of the four Yomim Tovim of Pesach fall on the weekend. This Saturday and Sunday, and next Saturday includes Hallel and features the special music for a Festival. This Saturday features the Song of Songs. Being at Festival services is an important part of the conversion programme. This year, especially with the way the calendar falls, it’s particularly important to be at Shul for Yom Tov morning services. Seder night is important, but you should join us as a community also.
Chag Kasher v’Sameach,
Have a joyous and kosher festival,