The Months of March & Nisan

"You must not sell weapons or accessories of weapons to those with ill intent,“ (Babylonian Talmud)"

 “The Source of Life said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.’” (Exodus 3:6)

The texts above call to me as the month of March and Nisan approach and as families, many of them Jewish, bury their loved ones after the mass shooting in Parkland. Becoming aware of our collective pain, and the cry of the earth itself, is how we open our ears, eyes and hearts to a greater Compelling Voice that impels us to act. We strive to alleviate senseless suffering and moral and systemic abuse by our leadership and country. As so many young people of have recently illuminated, it is critically important to cry out, organize and be relentless in not settling for the status quo or “the way things are”.

When our people were seeking freedom, solidarity, justice and equitable systems of governance and appropriate leadership, we encountered upheavals on the path from bondage to self-determination and promise. Determination, communal support and covenantal commitment carried us across a troubled sea to the other side and into the decades of living into what could only be imagined and ultimately possible.

We have a historic narrative of moving from slavery to becoming a liberated people for whom an “erev rav” or “mixed multitude of all who wished to leave” were welcome. We also have modern Pharoahs and a modern “Mitzrayim/Egypt” which means “narrow place” in Hebrew. The power of Passover, the most celebrated Jewish festival even beyond the Jewish world, is our connection to the transformative power that calls us towards freedom.  We celebrate our simultaneously ancient and ever-relevant Seder and link arms with all who desire to break the shackles of any internal or external oppression.

I look forward to seeing you at Mishkan Shalom for one or many of the services, programs and actions in the month ahead. I pray that you find new meaning, joy and deepened connections with those who gather for the annual pilgrimage out of the narrow places, especially as we rekindle our commitment to the liberation of all people and the planet.

Reconstructinist Passover Resources:

The first nights of Pesach (Passover)
The Passover Seder

The Haggadah

4101 Freeland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128 - ph: (215) 508-0226 / office@mishkan.org Site map