Rabbi Alfredo’s Passover Message

March 19, 2021

                                                                                              Nisan 6, 5781


Dear members of the Sulam Yaakov community,

I’m writing to wish you a fulfilling Passover experience. Our sages teach that more than a geographical location, Egypt is a condition of the soul. The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzraim, is interpreted by the rabbis as “a narrow place.” Covid has certainly confined our lives. Many of you, like me, will celebrate the Seder with a few loved ones, missing the presence of dear friends and family. Under these challenging circumstances, it is vital to realize, as the rabbis teach,  that most of our limitations are internal. We ultimately possess the power to shape our reality. The French Jewish poet, Edmond Fleg (b. 1874), professes, “I’m a Jew because, in every age when the cry of despair is heard, the Jew hopes.” Looking at us from the outside, the Irish writer Thomas Cahill celebrates that the Israelites invented the concept of a future.

As we come to the experience of Passover, a spirit of the possible surrounds us. The celebration transports us to whatever Exodus we need to undertake, personal or as a nation. The chains that paralyze us in times of uncertainty can be severed. As you break the middle matza at the Seder think about untying what immobilizes you. Let’s take advantage of Passover as an oasis of hope and optimism. Let’s retell the Exodus story and feel inspired by hoping that tomorrow will bring the best to and within us. I sincerely wish you that this Passover, even more than others, you can find moments of transcendence and peace. Remember, Egypt is a state of the soul. You have substantial control over how your soul shines in times of adversity. May you and your loved ones have a Happy and Kosher Pesach.

Rabbi Dr. Alfredo F. Borodowski, MSW.