Each year on the first night of Passover, Jewish mothers and fathers tell their children the story of the Exodus, the time when, in a miraculous chain of events, God elevated a tribe of slaves to be His chosen nation.
The obligation for each parent to tell their children the story of the Exodus goes well beyond the necessity to preserve Jewish culture and heritage. The story of the Exodus is the story of our faith. It is at the heart of our belief not just in a Creator, but One who created mankind for the higher purpose of carrying out His plan for humanity.
Recalling and reaffirming our belief in miracles during Passover attests not only to our belief in a living God, but also confirms our commitment to this higher purpose He calls us to strive towards.
Only once we have tasted the bitterness of oppression can we truly understand the light of redemption. And so on Passover, we tell our children that our ancestors were once slaves, and that our journey from the Exodus onward began in the forced labor camps of Pharaoh.
Our task on Passover is to remember that our ancestors left Egypt in the most miraculous way. Our ancestors’ escape, after more than two hundred years in captivity at the hands of that era’s greatest military and cultural power, was completely unimaginable, and its occurrence has changed the course of history for the Jewish people and for all humankind.
The details of each miracle of the Ten Plagues that we describe to our children on Passover impress on our hearts and the hearts of our children the fact that God dwells with us here on earth. He did then, and He dwells with us to this day – a living God.
When we are attuned to this deeper truth, we begin our own journey out of slavery to redemption – and our Passover journey becomes ever more meaningful.
- Ami Farkas