The Passover Seder (festive meal) is not far off. Many people know that this holiday is dedicated to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, which occurred about 34 centuries ago.
Since then, this momentous event is celebrated every year for the whole week. If we consider that it is preceded by a lot of laborious activities and accompanied by all sorts of restrictions, there is a fair question, “Why is such special attention paid to this holiday?”
The tragic events that preceded the exodus of the Jews from Egypt and that subsequently occurred during the wanderings in the desert are well known. Along with this, one event stands out from all the rest. The fact is that nothing like that had ever happened to anyone else.
For the first time in history of humanity, the Jewish people decided to raise the bar of interpersonal relationships to the level of “as one man with one heart.” If we look at the holiday of Passover from this point of view, then much if not all of what that we know about Passover and the Jews may have to be radically reviewed.
Imagine for a moment the situation of those days. The Jews under the guidance of their leader Moses are leaving Egypt – a country, where they were enslaved for centuries. It would seem, what do former slaves need? – To settle quickly in a new place to live safely and enjoy new found freedom. But in reality, something strange took place.
After a long ordeal in the desert, the Jews gather at the foot of Mount Sinai and take on themselves, frankly, an unbearable burden. They agree to guarantee for each other. We know that this is impossible in principle. Didn’t people have other things? Who needed this mutual guarantee anyway?
But in fact, the answer is obvious: “In order for a people to live, thrive and grow, it must be united, and it is unlikely anyone will argue with this.” Question: “On the basis of the principle, through what idea can this be done?”
Of course, you can unite the people on the idea of universal equality and brotherhood and on the idea of national superiority; it is also possible to unite the people by the American dream.
There is a practical question – “How and for how long will these principles and ideas work?” We know the answers. With all that, these principles are rational and understandable, but the idea of ”mutual guarantee” or even worse – “love thy neighbor as thyself” – is irrational, that is, essentially impossible.
Why then, has the idea of ”love thy neighbor,” irrational at first glance, lived for more than 3,000 years and is perceived with understanding by anyone in the world, but rational ideas – “national ideas” are always taken ill and die within a generation?
It says in the Torah that the Jews, one and all, decided unanimously to guarantee for each other. It can be said it was a matter of the whole people, with all the consequences. Obviously, this was the reason for success.
Later, as we know and due to various reasons, the people became indifferent towards this idea in order to then return to it again.
In both cases, the Jews thrived and prospered. Having united as one man with one heart in those ancient times, the Jewish people became a model for many nations and the founder of the ethical values that underlie the whole of civilization.
Today, the Jewish people as one, can give an example of correct relations. If all the people becomes engaged with this and if this idea becomes nationwide, as in the days of Moses, then without a doubt, the Jewish people will be able to realize it.
The choice is ours.