It was been another blessed and wonderful Pesach. In certain ways the week-long holiday flies by, but in other ways it feels like it has been a relatively long season, as we spend several weeks preparing for the holiday. I find that the preparations add real depth and meaning to the holiday. We prepare both ourselves and our homes to the best of our abilities, so that we are ready for the holiday when it comes.
I have come to the conclusion that for the time being my favorite holiday is Pesach. Like, – what would all the other holidays be if we did not have Pesach?! Pesach builds the base for everything else! We became a People! Our God brought us out of slavery, – to freedom! He delivered us, so that we can live for Him, the lives He meant for us to live when He created us! He has good plans for us, and He brings them about! He is faithful, and we can trust Him as we walk in His ways for us!
Some of the definite highlights for me from the celebrations have been moments of singing. I absolutely LOVE the Halel part from the hagada and the services during Pesach. It connects with my heart! And as I join in these songs, my soul connects with those of Jews all over the world singing those same songs at this time, and with generations and generations that have sung them before us! We are part of a great chain, and we get to join in building the part that is for our generation to build, – and what a time to be alive!! And what a privilege to live in Jerusalem at this time!
There certainly are many gems among the halel and the various prayers that we sing and pray during the holidays, but the ones that I connect with the very most at this time, I think are these:
Eli ata ve odecha! Elokai, aromemecha!
Hodu le Hashem ki tov! Ki le olam chasdo!
You are my God and I will thank you! My God, I will exalt You!
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His loving-kindness is forever!
The way the melody helps build up these words, adds a lot to the depth of meaning, and it is just wonderful to lift your voice together with those around you and proclaim these truths!
I find that whatever I am going through, good or bad, somehow these words fit the situation. They bring stability and perspective when times are challenging, and they add joyful thankfulness to times of celebration. I find these words to be great reminders of God’s faithfulness! We belong to Him! He has brought us this far, and He has good plans for us! Whatever the future holds, He will be there with us! We can trust in Him and do not have to worry.
I have read and heard a lot of interesting teachings during this season, and the one I want to share here is part of one that I heard at the synagogue on the last day of Pesach. We celebrated that God brought us through the Reed Sea on that day, and the one who taught on this pointed out that on the one side of the sea we were crying to God to save us. We were desperate. On the other side of the sea, we were singing to Him! This can also be a picture of a maturing faith. On the one side we believed in God, in His existence. On the other side, we had experienced His faithfulness. When our belief is in God’s faithfulness, we can trust Him fully. We know who He is, so we can sing to Him from the depth of our hearts!