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The Wild Passover Story: The Responsibility of Justice for All People

As you know, I love stories from different cultures. I graduated from the University of Washington with a literature degree. Stories educate us and tell us how a body of people thought in the past, thinks in the now, and imagines the future. 

The Passover story has many contradictions and lessons for all of us. It tells in Exodus the story of slaves, living in a different country, desiring freedom and dreaming of going home. Their eventual leader, who actually was a prince, part of the ruling class of the oppressors, murdered one of his own in anger because of the injustice that was done towards one of the slaves.

Yes, we are talking about Moses:  He ran away so he does not have to face the consequences of his own unjust actions! Later he found out that he originally was born to a slave and was adopted by the princess.  Moses came back years later carrying the mission of freeing his enslaved people. 

The story goes on to emphasizes the inadequacies of the leaders on all sides, and the stubbornness of the oppressors to let go and free up the slaves - sounds familiar? We certainly are still seeing oppressors who will not free up people, and the inadequacies of many of our leaders.

Moses bestows 'magical signs' that he 'received from God' - and let's face it, these signs are not good news, but downright violent punishments. Blood in all the water? Bugs everywhere (locusts)? Boils? Lice? (I had a bout of lice in school, truly not good!)... and at the end, death of the firstborn of the oppressors? Now that is terrible. 

The name passover is actually from the last plague - as god passed over the homes of the slaves and not killed their firstborns.

This is a lot of violence to get the attention of the oppressors. I do not like violence for any reason. 

Once the people are free, the story ends and a holiday is born, but for the free people the story continues on. And with contradictions and lessons to learn. 

In the desert, now free and moving toward their home land, the people are complaining about food, are not thankful toward their liberators, and decided to create an orgy, celebrating the oppressor's holiday and gods. 

Yes, habits are hard to break. We crave freedom yet we complain and continue to do exactly what we have done to keep ourselves and others oppressed. We murder in the name of justice, and we punish to get someone's attention. 

I would call that a very ineffective system of justice. Yet that is exactly what we need to rebuild and put into effect - becoming responsible for a system of justice that is good for all people. 

What I love about this biblical story is that it is honest, brutally so, and transparent - no one looks good, and everyone is involved in creating a very bad situation. This is in general what I do like about biblical stories - they are honest about humanity and our tendency toward violence and selfish motives. 

And with that - 

Here I would like to take a moment and wish everyone a good holiday, and let us all come together to enact a better future for ourselves and the next generation. 

And did you know that Earth Day is falling on the same day as Passover? Both require us to rethink how we behave - toward the earth, and each other. 

In the Passover story, that generation of slaves never made it to their homeland - they died in the desert, they never grasped what freedom is all about, they missed their past and with it their bondage, but the next generation, their children, finally arrived home. 

I give you my love, and wish for all of us to find forgiveness, to let go of oppressive behaviors, and embrace freedom for all people - to arrive home.






Yours as always,


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