Mo'adim L'Simcha #lithuania
Prof. G. L. Esterson <jerry@...>
The holiday of Pesach is oriented towards the children at the
seder. We explain to them (as if it is for the first time!) how G-d
with Moshe's help rescued the Jews who were enslaved in Egypt, and also
taught a lesson to Pharoah and the Egyptians. We celebrate the
beginning of the formation of our people into a Nation that has
survived until today. And with G-d's help, all of Israel will continue
to survive and prosper until the coming of the Mashiach.
We are described in the Tora as a "stiff necked people." And indeed we
are. We perpetually define ourselves into groups with well-defined
ideas and opinions, each group distinctly different >from the others,
and we constantly argue and fight with one another, trying to convince
the other side of the correctness and righteousness of our
position. And for the most part, we resolve these differences only
over long periods of time, as is proper in cases of principle and idealism.
For example, the discussions between the Sadducees and the Pharisees
went on for a long time, and these discussions were carefully recorded
for posterity. The Sadducees were the traditional Jews of their time,
behaving only according to Mosaic law, while the Pharisees took a more
liberal approach. For the most part, the positions of the Pharisees
were the ones adopted by Jews, but the ideas of the aristocratic
Sadducees were recorded and accorded considerable respect. Today, our
Judaism is a combination of both approaches, even though the weight
lies more on one side.
May we renew our commitment, each one of us, to this desire to listen
to one another and to rejoice in what we hold in common at this
festival of Pesach, and to accept that major changes in our lives and
in our nation require time and thought in order to weed out the eternal
from the transient and momentary.LitvakSig is one group which we Litvaks have defined, which seems to
have minimum conflict with other groups. May we always be able to
continue this tradition.
Leah and I wish you Chag Kasher V'Sameach.
Leah and Jerry Esterson