Thoughts on the challenges of being a chossid (or trying) in a modern world.
Fellow Lubs are most welcome to read and share and comment. Chabad-haters and agitators, please find another place to troll.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The power of the moment

Is it a dark conspiracy or perhaps part of some vast eternal plan that we spend weeks preparing for the physical aspect of Pesach - cleaning, cooking, running errands - to the point where we reach the Seder and are so exhausted that we can barely enjoy the experience?

How much time do we spend on the spiritual preparation? Whether it's the avoda of bedikas chometz, or learning the Haggadah so that our Seder can be more meaningful. Or do we sit back, conk out from exhaustion and wine, and attempt to pay attention as our children expound and affirm our decision to send them to good Jewish schools?

There certainly seems to be a dissonance between the physical and spiritual efforts involved in preparing for Pesach. But perhaps there's a message there.

It starts with Parshas HaChodesh - "hachodesh hazeh lachem" - where the first mitzvah is the gift of time itself. The Jewish calendar is control over time, and therefore how we in this world actually decide when we celebrate the yomim tovim, and the spiritual effects that come with them.

Pesach is all about time, and in particular about the power of a moment. The moment where we were at 49 sha'arei tumah and were rescued from the precipice; the moment where a dough mixture becomes chametz; the moment of midnight when the tenth plague took place. They are the transformational moments in our lives - individually and collectively.

The revelation of ein sof associated with Pesach happens in a flash - a huge and instant leap - rather than through the seder hishtalshelus. The message of Pesach is that while the physical change can take much time and effort, the spiritual change can be k'heref ayin - in the blink of an eye - no matter how dark the situation may appear. In the same way, the coming of Moshiach can come as quickly as the moment of redemption from Egypt, and is such a transformative moment as to take us from the darkest of galus to the light of geula.

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