Passed Over

Spring and the Moon of Liberation

Sunday gratefuls: Passover. The Saltzmans. Tara. Arjean. My permanent seat at their seder. Their willingness to sign so I can have a dog. Yesterday’s Snow melting off my Lodgepole Companion. Dripping toward the Aquifer that fills my well. Great Sol brimming over, gently warming the Needles, the clumps of Snow, an eternal cycle of Sun and Water, Plant Life and Soil. Observing it.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Gravity and Water

One brief shining: Sat down this am to write three morning pages, picked up the yellow legal pad, the black pen, and feeling overwhelmed, too much to do, wrote myself into a calmer place, write now I wrote, hah, I liked that writing write now, then slowly penning my way toward blessings, the hundreds of blessings I’ve experienced just since getting up and the joy of them, oh, not so bad now, eh?


Snow melted off my Lodgepole Companion. A lot of it still there at 7:30 am. Now three hours later. Great Sol convincing a man to take off his coat. A blue Sky. Ancient Brothers on favorite places finished. Morning pages written. Breakfast made and eaten.


Ancientrails, then a shower and a nap. Passover seders take a while and it’s often quite a while until the food. So, a nap. And a snack before hand. This is the day before the actual day because Salaam may have a track meet tomorrow.

The Moon of Liberation carries us into this ancient story of slavery, plagues, a recalcitrant Pharaoh, and a stuttering advocate. The journey which leads me to the Saltzman’s began on the day in the far past when Azrael, the angel of death, passed over the homes of Hebrew slaves if they had lamb’s blood smeared on their lintel.

The passover liberation of Hebrew slaves underlies de minimus this holiday, but also that Egyptian night of deliverance underlies all of Jewish history since then. The story told and retold among diaspora Jews in Babylon, in Russia, in Poland, in Hungary and Austria and yes Germany. Later in many places in U.S. cities. And in any other spot where enough Jews have immigrated.

When we dip the parsely in the salt water, and the haroset in the bitter herb, we show the paradoxical nature of this holy day. It is of spring and growth, yet also tainted by the waters of the Reed Sea. The mortar of the former slave’s work has transformed to haroset: apples, walnuts, cinnamon, honey, and sweet wine, yet we dip the matzah covered with haroset into the bitter herb, often horseradish, to remind us that wandering the Sinai was also a time of affliction, affliction in spite or or as a direct result of liberation.

We embrace our history, knowing we all have our own Egypt’s, our own shackles. Knowing, too, that the shackles of others, as long as racism and sexism and homophobia create contemporary ghettos, are our shackles as well. This is not just a holiday, it’s a promise to ourselves, to each other, and to the world that we will share the burden of the other.