Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Rock & a Hard PlaceToday is the third day of Passover.

“Like America itself, Passover is about freedom. It celebrates the eternal quest for human dignity and the freedom which is perhaps the greatest expression of that dignity.

Nowhere, and at no time, in 3,000 years of Jewish history have Jews known the kind of centuries-long freedom and security which are the American Jewish experience. The Passover story of freedom — of the journey from oppression to opportunity — is also the American story at its best, not just for Jews but for all people, and it rings deeply true when it is told at Seder tables across this nation.”

-Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, President of the National Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership

The exodus of the Jews from Egypt and into freedom was a powerful touchstone for the Pilgrims who carried Bibles etched with the image of Moses leading the Israelites to freedom when they boarded the Mayflower in 1620.

Hirschfield continues “Egypt is not ‘Egypt’ in the Bible. In the original Hebrew, it is called Mitzrayim, which means tight places. To be in Mitzrayim/Egypt is not simply to be a slave in a story from long ago. It is the paradigmatic experience of being stuck between a rock and a hard place – an experience which virtually all people have at some point in our lives.

Passover reminds all people that while getting jammed up can, and likely will, happen to each of us, there is always the possibility of redemption and release. Whoever you are, and whatever faith you follow, Passover invites us to take stock of where we are stuck, and seek the help we need to get un-stuck. That we will ultimately be successful is the eternal promise of Passover.”

Sitting quietly in meditation is a tried and true method for getting un-stuck.

Happy Passover!

The photo is of a giant boulder stuck in a crevice in the Grand Canyon. You can get a sense of the immense scale by the man in the foreground getting up from a makeshift potty situated beneath the suspended boulder.

Leave a Reply