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Friday, April 29, 2011

Post-Passover, Have We Changed?

Passover ended just a few days ago.  Now that the kitchen is back to "normal," it's almost like it had never happened.  We are supposed to be counting the Omer, the 49 days between the second night of Passover until Shavuot, the Holiday commemorating when G-d formally presented us with the Torah.

Yes, forty-nine, 7X7=49
seven weeks of seven days
It's a major celebration, but what really happened during the realtime Bible?

Jews who had just left Egypt, major miracles, outran the Egyptian army even though they were burdened with babies, and suitcases and breakable matzah.  OK, according to some north-African Jews, the matzah was soft like pittot made really fast.  Well, did they spend the forty-nine days sewing new clothes, cooking vegetable soup and making cheesecake while Moses was up in Har Sinai getting the t's crossed and dotting the i's, those final detailed instructions?

Considering how quickly they lost patience and faith and organized the jewelry collection for the golden calf, there must have been some bitter, rebelious talk going on.

One of the main points Atara Snowbell made about the uselessness of Mordechai's being led around by Haman is based on the fact that change takes a long time.  Forty-nine days is too short a period to make those slaves to Pharoah and Egyptian values into a true nation.  G-d gave them another forty years of wandering, hoping that the younger generation would do better.  To bridge the generations, both Joshua and Caleb lived for that first period after entering the Promised Land.  Joshua was responsible for the initial conquest, but when Joshua died he hadn't left a trained successor.

I get very impatient with my peers.  It's hard for me to reconcile the fact that most Jews, yes, most Israelis didn't comprehend the miraculous gift of our victory in June, 1967.  I have no doubt that, just like when Moses went up to the Sinai to bring the Torah to  the people, he expected it to be received with great enthusiasm.  He was totally shocked when he discovered them worshipping the Golden Calf.

More than forty years have passes since our great victory.  How long will it take for the Jewish People to be spiritually ready to accept the Land?

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