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Parashat Metzora

April 8, 2022
7 Nisan 5782
Parashat Metzora
Leviticus 14:1 - 15:33

Mitzrayim (Egypt) means "narrow place." We begin with a definition to set us on the road to liberation -- if not actual liberation, then maybe the liberation of the spirit. Passover is a week away and the preparations have begun, as we begin to think about the meaning of this holiday for each of us. We certainly celebrate freedom on Passover. But we also know that with freedom comes responsibility. How do we actualize that sense of responsibility?

This is a large question, but I believe our children gave us something of a roadmap with their artwork connected to the four cups of wine that we drink at the seder. Each cup of wine is strategically placed during the evening with each one leading to the other, creating a road map for us to follow.  We asked the children (in teams of two) to illustrate the meaning of each cup to them. The first cup connects to memory, memories of the past that are worth keeping because they can continue to nourish you.

The second cup is the cup of maggid, story. It is our shared stories that have held us together; even as we each have our own vantage point, we all connect to our larger story. And stories are indeed magical as our children suggested. Stories connect us to one another, creating community and a common sense of purpose.

The third cup celebrates gratitude. Our hearts are full almost to overflowing, and we are grateful -- especially for the people in our lives.

Finally, we have the fourth cup, the cup of hope. And although tradition suggests that the best is yet to be, our pair created an image that takes into account that not all of our hopes will be fulfilled. The final piece is a burst of energy leading us to be hopeful that through the energy of our actions, more is possible then we ever realized.

Too many seders end before the fourth cup has been blessed. It is a long night. But hope is the engine that keeps us moving forward. It creates an opening for a more positive tomorrow. May we work for a tomorrow where the issues of our delicate environment are addressed, we care for those in need, and support one another as we travel on this journey together, remembering, telling stories, being grateful, and having hope for a better tomorrow.

Chag Sameach!

Rabbi LInda SHriner-Cahn

Sun, December 4 2022 10 Kislev 5783