In every generation, each of us must see ourselves as if we, ourselves, came out of Egypt , as it is written: And
you shall tell your child on that day saying, This is what God did for me, when I came out of Egypt . (Exodus 13:8 )
What are you? Are you a Jew? What is your story? What do you tell your children? Do you tell the story of coming out of Egypt? Do you tell it as your story?
Describing our challenges and proudest moments help define a picture of who we are. This helps frame and set a context for our story. We tell our story of a great people to keep our history alive. Stories of our families and our people are important for children to learn about who they are and to provide an identity and a connection to their heritage.
Our people have a long and brilliant history of underdogs struggling and overcoming. Over the years we have lived under many difficult regimes then succeeded beyond the expectations of the nations we embraced.
Under slavery and horrible conditions of an oppressive kingdom in Egypt we struggled. We left Egypt and made our way to the land of Israel and built a great nation. Then the story repeats itself in history. In every generation we encounter a struggle against rulers. And in every generation we succeed and change the world. Within the ups and downs, each year we connect our children with the story of coming out of Egypt.
This is our history. Interestingly, G-d knew this would be valuable to sustain and connect this group of people we call Jews. We are given the mitzvh “And you shall tell your child on that day saying, This is what God did for me, when
I came out of Egypt .” Our tradition helps define regular intervals and the context to tell the story. We created a Haggadah and seder so that every year at Passover we tell our story.
Our history, traditions and beliefs help sustain and empower us as a community. G-d did this — brought us out of Egypt to accept the Torah, to teach it to our children and to remain a special community in the light of G-d. Teach this to your children as a personal journey and your children will identify and be proud to be Jews.
This Passover is your opportunity to tell your children about the family struggles and family triumphs. You have an opportunity to do a mitzvah and include the story of Exodus this Passover holiday.
Happy Pesach and good feasting.
Written for Temple Shir Tikva and cross posted on With Intention