The Exodus is the event that begins our history as a nation, and at Passover we are commanded to tell the story in a way that in every generation each person should feel as though he or she were redeemed from Egypt. Not only should we feel as if we participated, but we should understand that with God’s help, we continue to participate in an on-going redemption. Another name for Pesach is Zeman Heiruteinu, the Season of Our Liberation. The three commandments which bring us to this understanding are that we tell the story, eat matzoh and refrain from eating or owning chametz, leavened foodstuff made from barley, rye, oats, wheat or spelt.
Of course there is no prohibition against enjoying the holiday as well. We gather with family and friends, share memories of Seders from years past, make new memories and enjoy the arrival of spring. After all, another name for Pesach is Chag Ha’aviv, the Festival of Spring.
Rabbi Sandra Bellush