As with most things in life, in which a variety of emotions accompanies each of the events of our lives, Passover is a bittersweet holiday. It both recalls the bitterness of slavery and celebrates the sweetness of liberty.
As you know, my sister Deena Pearl, z”l, passed away last month. As I recited at her funeral the verse from Ecclesiastes – “a time to laugh and a time to cry,” indeed her life surely featured both emotions with some intensity. And so too in mourning her death, our tears often gave way to smiles as we remembered not only the joyful times of her life, but also the strength and courage which she exhibited throughout.
Through the example of her life, she taught that we can chose either to be bitterly enslaved to the troubles that befall us, or we can enjoy the sweet liberty of being unshackled from those troubles, and seeing and living beyond them.
This bittersweet holiday of Pesach, as with many bittersweet stories and moments in our lives, reminds us of the bonds which are positive and most meaningful – among them, those which bind mentshlech people together. May Deena’s soul be bound up in bonds of eternal life.
May this festival of Pesach be for each of us a time of unshackling any deleterious bonds by which we may be constrained, and instead embracing, relishing, and living the liberties with which we are blessed.
My family and I wish each of you a chag Pesach kasher v’sameiach – happy Passover!