Torah Study: Go inside and stay there

1 April 2020
Shosh Dworsky
Rabbi Shosh Dworsky

Passover begins on the full moon next week, April 8. It’s easier to make the moon connection if you use the Hebrew date — 15 Nisan. The fifteenth of a lunar month is smack in the middle, half-way through, hence a nice big, round, bright full moon. That’s the same bright moon that shone down on our ancestors millennia ago, the night they were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with sacrificial lamb’s blood, then go inside, and stay there. “Go inside and stay there” — that’s more or less what God said. That’s how we survived back then, according to the story; taking protective measures (measures that are now obsolete, lamb’s blood won’t work today) and following instructions to quarantine ourselves.

For active and activist people like so many of you, it’s really hard to accept the instructions to remove yourself from the public sphere. That’s where many of us thrive. That’s where we want to make our mark, have an impact, help. Now there are voices telling us to withdraw.

Of course many of us are as busy at ever working from home, or we are among those essential workers who are braving the public sphere.

But so many feel stuck at home. And not for just one night, like the Israelites. Rather for the foreseeable future. Kind of boggles the mind.

Let’s learn from the moon. Sometimes we wax, expand, light up the sky. Then we contract, almost disappear. But it’s a cycle. The darkness will give way to light. No one is predicting otherwise. Each cycle is like a breath — in, then out, repeat. Let’s give thanks for every clear and healthy breath that we are able to take, and appreciate that despite everything seeming to have come to a stand-still — everything is still in motion.

I hope everyone takes good notes on their Passover celebrations this year. I predict that in years to come they will make for good stories to be added to the Passover narrative. God willing your children will one day ask, “How was that Passover different from all others?” And those who live through this (and my unprofessional prediction is that that will be most of us) will add our wisdom, and our gratitude, to the story.

Happy one-week-to-Passover
Rabbi Shosh

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