Nechemia Nine: Pesach

In this chapter, the priests are performing a ritual on a day of mourning, and we hear a record of their words to God. Among the moments and events that they reflect on is the Exodus. “And You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and against all his servants and against all the people of his land, for You knew that they dealt wickedly with them, and You made for Yourself a name as of this day (Nehemia 9:10).” Considering that we’re well into the week of Pesach, it feels particularly relevant to see this reference pop up in today’s reading. I’m especially drawn to the end of the verse and the idea that God made a name for Himself based on the events of the Exodus. It’s statistically proven that the Passover seder is the ritual that the most Jews participate in each year – more than Shabbat, or Chanukah, or the High Holy Days, or a bar mitzvah, or tzedakah, or anything else. Since this is the most common denominator of Jewish life , it makes sense that this is the moment that is referenced as God making a name for Himself. Any knowledge that we as people have of God comes from the moments and rituals when we feel close to Him, so there’s a direct link between Pesach and this awareness. It’s particularly relevant for me, because I often feel more aware of my Judaism this week, when I shake up my routine and am mindful of my food on a different level than I normally am. This is my last post during the holiday this year, so I’m happy to have had the opportunity to reflect on it one last time.

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