For many years I thought that Passover was primarily the recollection of historical events. I thought it was the time of year that Jews (and others) show respect for the miraculous freedom that God granted a people enslaved for hundreds of years in Egypt.
But the more I study, the more I understand that Passover, or Pesach, which is the English transliteration of the Hebrew word, is much more than a holiday to honor history. It is, in fact, an annual window of opportunity for me to recognize and celebrate my own personal freedom from spiritual oppression.
This is not my own bright idea. I am not creating a new teaching to promote myself or others. For centuries Hebrew sages have revealed the deeper meaning of Pesach and what it means to the Jewish people and to the whole world.
Having weekly meetings with my teachers in Israel via Skype, I have been learning the deeper meanings of Pesach for several years now. Each year I find that my personal experience of the Passover holiday is more meaningful than the year before.
I would like to share some of these deeper meanings with you now. It is a great blessing to know that you can take them and use them to enjoy a deeper Passover experience in your own life this year.
* The dramatic Biblical story of God setting the Israelites free from slavery to the Egyptian Pharoh is really an allegory for my own process of becoming free from slavery to my own misguided thinking and bad habits.
* I am my own harsh task master. My inner judgment and self-punishment keep me from the freedom to learn and grow, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially. That part of me is like a critical, thankless Pharoh that holds me back in many ways.
* Pesach occurs in the spring time when new life is flowing into plants and animals and also into me. I can take advantage of this special time of year and this established Biblical holiday to acknowledge my gratitude to God for setting my ancestors free, and giving me the opportunity to be set free as well.
*It is 100% my own responsibility to choose to see and utilize Passover as a tool for self-growth. My rabbi, my family, my teachers and my other sources of inspiration and education are not responsible for my growth.
* My personal growth is completely between me and my God. My prayers and my relationship to Torah and the Bible are my lifeline to everything. Other sources of knowledge help me grow in prayer and Biblical understanding, but I am the one who must take what I learn and proceed to change.
I truly look forward to Passover each year now that I have more and deeper understanding of it. It has become a very exciting time to look within and find at least one more idea or behavior that is not serving me in order to eliminate it.
Most years I have a hard time limiting my selection to only one thing to eliminate. But if I focus on just one thing, I’ve found that it’s much more likely I will be willing to let it go and get on with being free from it.
Are you comfortable with the idea that the cruel dictator portrayed by Pharoh is actually a critical, judgmental quality living inside all of us? Just take a little bit of time to consider it during Passover this year and see if you develop some enthusiasm for experimenting.
Yes, just consider it an experiment, an inner adventure that you can undertake this year, to see what works for you. Passover can be a gift, not only for yourself, but for your contribution to freedom in the world.
About the Author: Writing, blogging, sewing, and crafting in her woodland studio full of vintage/retro/chic treasures, Mia Sherwood Landau works for her satisfied clients and happy customers publishing thoughtful work on the web and producing beautiful handicrafts in the world. Meet Mia in her virtual studio on the web www.mia-sherwood-landau.com.
This piece was originally posted at www.selfgrowth.com and is reprinted with permission.