It’s five (and a half) days before Pesach (Passover) folks. Five days until we sit down in our squeaky clean homes, at our beautifully laid holiday tables and celebrate the Festival of Freedom. As we retell the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt, we are commanded by G-d to see ourselves – today, in 2016 – as leaving Egypt and leaving slavery.
That’s a tall order.
And although there are still too many current examples of modern slavery, oppression, and human trafficking, those of us living in the Western world with choice and physical freedom might be challenged to internalize on a gut level the transformation from slavery to freedom.
I’m not sure I’m up to the task.
Even though our rabbis say it can be and must be done (Mishna, Pesachim).
Last week, I was inspired by my friend, Mind-Body Coach Meryl Freedman, to post daily thoughts on freedom to my Facebook wall. Spending a few minutes a day tapping into the energy and feeling of freedom is helping me stay in the process.
Here are two of my favorite posts:
Freedom is…releasing clothes and cosmetics that no longer serve me
– Faded and thread bare clothes that once served me well.
– A black cashmere sweater inherited from my favorite grandmother that I wore only once because she was petite although top heavy and we were never the same size. The sweater has been sleeping in my drawer for close to 20 years. I hugged it and said “bye, bye grandma.”
– Blue and purple barely used Lancôme eyeliner. High quality but so-1980s. Totally not suitable for this brown-eyed girl.
– Ahava facial mud mask, received as a gift and which I held onto for so long, too long to use some day.
Making room for new blessings and abundance. 6th of the Hebrew month of Nisan – the month of freedom
Freedom is….Exodus from Nazi Germany….and Giving Sight to the Blind.
My mother’s family left Germany in the summer of 1938. Mommy always said she was conceived in England on her parents’ journey to the US. And if you checked, you’d see her tush was stamped “Made in the UK.”
Growing up in the shadows of the Holocaust, to parents who were forced to flee and to rebuild their lives on American soil, Mommy’s life was marked by scarcity, insecurity, hard-work ethic, trauma, comfort, generosity and abundance.
She finally found peace and freedom when she moved to Arizona 22 years ago, breeding and raising prized German Shepherds. In a conversation shortly before her passing, Mommy said that her greatest accomplishment, after raising 4 beautiful children, was donating several of her purebred dogs to the Seeing Eye Foundation. In her act of generosity, she was giving the freedom of sight to those with impaired vision.
I love you and miss you Mommy.
Mommy’s 2nd yahrzeit, the 2nd anniversary of her passing, 7th of the Hebrew month of Nisan – the month of freedom.
And finally, last week I started reading The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. In her more-than-20 years as an executive and a fund-raiser for the Hunger Project, Lynne travelled the globe meeting and embracing people from all walks of life – from the poorest of the poor in Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Calcutta to some of the world’s richest and most philanthropic individuals (not necessarily one and the same).
Since I have only just started the book, I will share with you Lynne’s thoughts on money and freedom from page 40:
“In the thick of everyday conversations about money, about how we earn, get, save, spend, or invest it, our conversations became a clearing in which people were able to focus on their money and their lives in a completely different and inspired way. In the space of that clearing, they were able to feel the rush of energy unleashed when they considered their money as a way to express their deepest, most soulful commitments…………….So it was that in the striking beauty and severity of life in India, and in the conversations around fund-raising to end hunger, that….I began to see how people could free themselves from money’s grip and have money flow to and through their lives in ways that would nourish them and their world.”
Wishing you wisdom and integrity to examine the ways you can free yourself from money’s grip and use it to nourish your soul and your world.
Sending dear blessings for the Festival of Freedom.
Chag Sameach (Happy Holidays)