Our first seder is over and done, the rented table has been returned, the food has been eaten or put away, and the house is (somewhat) back in order and far too quiet now that the guests are gone. We have the second seder tonight at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house, so now I get to be the guest and sit back a bit. But before I move on from last night, I wanted to share my thoughts as a follow-up to my original Passover post.
I wrote in that post, based on last year’s seder, that Nate was too young to understand the story of Passover. What a difference a year makes! He not only understood the story of Passover—he taught it to all of us. He told us about how the “pharaoh guy, the bad guy” made all the people work too hard and how they never had a break. He told us that Moses asked pharaoh to let his people go, but pharaoh said “No, no, no,” and so God sent frogs and locusts to punish him. “The sky was so thick that the people could not see.” He described how the people were in a hurry and had to carry the dough on their backs and how “the ocean snapped open so they could get on the island, and then it snapped closed so the soldiers could not get to the island.” And he closed the story by telling us that the people opened their backpacks once they were safe on the island.
Sure, a few details are missing and a few geographical facts are slightly off, but he got it. He got the idea that the people were unfairly treated and that they wanted to be free. He understood how important freedom is and how we have to stand up to the bad guys when they deprive us of that freedom. He knows that the journey may be dangerous, but that you can cross the ocean and reach a place where you are free to open your backpacks and live in peace.
Isn’t that exactly the right lesson to learn from the Passover story? To cherish freedom, to stand up to evil, and to take steps, even dangerous steps, to ensure that you and your loved ones can live in peace? My ancestors must have been smiling down on my three year old grandson with such pride. As was I. As were we all.