Shalom. I hope your Passover has been going well. I love this holiday, the sedarim and the people around, even the food which represents a nice change and I don’t know why some get so wrought up about their deprivation.
I have a lot on my mind for future blog posts, including the Conservative rabbi who waited till he retired to announce that Conservative rabbis should perform intermarriages. I think there are several issues here and look forward to discussing them with you.
It’s still Pesach so let me share one seder memory. The Four Sons/ Children part of the Haggadah makes me think of who the people are around our table, which category might best fit them, and in general about people in my life. The “A Night to Remember” Haggadah includes at that point in the seder a reading from Robert Coles’s “The Call of Service” that always resonates and reminds me not to do what I usually do.
“It is tempting, and at times not altogether inappropriate, to sort people into a few well-chosen ‘types.’ But I urge a sense of the complexity of people on myself and on the reader. William Carlos Williams, the American poet, once talked of the ‘zeal’ with which we ‘take to labels of all kinds.’ ‘We crave certainty; we love to put a period at the end of a sentence, and that is that. But take a look at people, a real close look, and you’ll find inconsistencies and contradictions – and that’s where a closer look is needed, not a category or a definition that tells you, that reassures you: all right, you’ve got it!’”
I cannot tell you how many times this caution has proven to be true with people I have known. It’s too easy to make snap judgments about people, or think we know exactly what they are thinking. or believe that the book’s cover matches its contents. But, I need to remind myself, underneath it’s a lot more complicated. There is a little of the wise and the wicked and the simple and the confused in each of us. We will have a happier and more peaceful world when we see that.
Moadim l’simchah/ happy last days of Pesach. Bill Rudolph