The Passover Haggadah tells us that the Seder takes us “from degradation to freedom.” We begin to tell the story as slaves, and end with the message of freedom. We are reminded that are ancestors were idol worshippers before they discovered the God who could not be seen nor touched, but who became as real as the air we breathe.
And isn’t that story of our people’s maturation, the story of our lives also. We grow from self-centered babies and toddlers, into kind and caring adults who come to realize that life is more about giving than it is receiving. Yes, we make a living by what we accumulate; but we make a life by what we give and share with others.
Long ago our safes wrote that “each person should carry tow notes in his/her pockets. One note should state ‘I am but dust and ashes.’ The other note should state ‘For me was the world created.”‘ They were trying to tell us that we all have two dimensions to our being. As part of a vast universe, each of us is tiny and perhaps insignificant; and we can trace our roots to “idol worshippers.”
But on the other hand, there is holiness and wonder at the core of our being. We are capable of moral and spiritual greatness. Yes, we are the descendants of those who taught the world ideas such as freedom, human dignity, our great potential to think and reason, and the belief that we can repair that which is broken in our world.
May we yet arise to the greatness that is within each of us.