Concerning the Passover, Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995) wrote:
"The going forth from Egypt and the evocation of that exodus in which freedom was given to a people, the coming to the foot of Mt. Sinai where that freedom culminated in Law, constituted a privileged past...but by the same token it is a thought virtually obsessed by the theme of freeing slaves...the Jew is free qua affranchised: his memory is immediately compassion for all the enslaved and the wretched of the earth and a special flair for that wretchedness that the wretched themselves are prone to forget. The past of the Exodus and the Law forms the heart of the Jewish weekday morning prayer; prayer of awakening, awakening as prayer...
The liberation from the Egyptian yoke is the dominant event of Judaism and of the human. Its influence extends even to the Days of the Messiah. The Israelites, in their Egyptian enslavement, touched the depths of the human condition. Their deliverance anticipated the salvation of humanity itself. The past of their memory carries the future within it. This would be the structure of history...
Judaism and humanity as a whole open themselves to a future - more or otherwise - significant than slavery and emancipation from the exile and dispersion. They open themselves to a freedom freer and more human and perhaps more tormented than the one that comes down to breaking free from the will of the other man and more miraculous than the miracles of the Exodus. Neither the wonders nor the horrors of the human vocation are yet exhausted...There are those that take place upon the return from exile and dispersion. But there is perhaps also, in the exile and dispersion, the inhumanity of an ordeal more inhuman than slavery...After the Exodus from Egypt and the miracles that overturn the order of Nature, are the liberation from subservience to the empires and the return of the exiled...What an extraordinary text !..."
PLEASE JOIN US TO EXPLORE THIS "texte extraordinaire" at our annual PASSOVER SEDER - WED. April 5, 2023 – 6:30 P.M. Only Via Zoom. Please contact the synagogue office for additional information.
Chag Sammayach! A Healthful and Joyous Pesach to all!