Passover through Canada 2016
There is a saying, “He had a face that only a mother could love.” But what if he (or she) had a face that even a mother could not love? A face that only God could love? This is how the visionary, Ezekiel, saw Israel after the hand of God had passed over the houses of Israel’s infants and the tribes escaped, but Israel felt abandoned, as a loathsome child, naked and bare, scratched and torn, living in a pit without a drop of mother’s milk or even water to quench his thirst for life. “And as for your birth on the day you were born, your navel was not cut, neither were you washed with water for cleansing, nor were you salted, nor swaddled at all…and you were cast on the open field in the loathsomeness of your body on the day you were born.” (Ezekiel 16:4-5) God commanded that, “In your blood live.” (16:7)
But what if God was not there? Would the result be, “In your blood, die.”? Would the pesach lamb be replaced by non-kosher pigs feeding off swill? Instead of a living community based on a covenantal bond, living in hope and aspiration, living in dedication to the future, where people live in order to make the lives of their progeny better than their own, what would God find when He sent His repo men to collect the souls? When there would be no innocent children to be redeemed? When, instead of cutting off the foreskin as a symbol of the covenant between father and son, between God and his children, instead of finding a doorway marked on one upper corner with the blood of the lamb and the other with the blood of the brit milah, God’s messengers found, instead of a foreskin cut off, an individual cut off, instead of lambs of peace sacrificed on the altar, only murdered pigs to be sold in order to purchase the pornography of the illusion of a beautiful life?
Instead, if God sends his messengers to this part of the earth called Canada, they would find a people blessed, a bountiful land with prosperous people, a wondrous land with beautiful people. So on this Passover we set out in two-days-time to pass through rather than over this great land to return to Toronto via byways, but mostly, via the Trans-Canada highway. This is how we will remember Passover this year. You usually receive my commentary on the weekly portion of the Torah as an amateur each Friday. This week will be different. This day will be unlike every other Friday of the year. Today I attach the commentary of a professional, of my daughter, Rachel, and you can compare it in profundity to my own scratchy efforts that you already received.
We must live, not only to spare from Death the First Born, but to save for life everyone born, even those with a face that even a mother might not be prone to love. Always better a loved child than an abandoned one.
For my Jewish friends all over, have a happy seder. For my non-Jewish friends all over, say a blessing for what you have, especially if you do not bear the scars of abandonment in your flesh.