Dear community members, sharing with you some interesting and meaningful point of view.
From Rabbi Resnick
March 31, 2023 (adapted from Rabbi Y. Geisinsky)
Given that we Jews have such a long and remarkable past, it is quite surprising that in Hebrew, there is no word for ‘history’. In fact, when Modern Hebrew linguists needed a word for ‘history’ they were forced to borrow one and came up with: “Historiah”.
Perhaps it is because we Jews live with something more than history. Our keyword is memory: “Zachor” in Hebrew.
The Torah uses the word Zachor (remember) in one form or another an astonishing 169 times. “Remember (Zachor) the Shabbat”. “Remember (Zachor) the day you stood at Mount Sinai”. “Remember (Zachor) that you were slaves in Egypt”.
There is a big difference between history and memory:
History is His-Story; it is about events that happened somewhere else to someone else at a different time. History lives in old books.
Memory is My-story; what happened to me. My experience. It lives in our hearts. It is the story in which I play a part. I received my-story from my parents who received it from their parents, going all the way back to the dawn of Jewish history.
This is what makes the Passover night so magical. On this night, parents sit down and share their own story with their children. For millennia we have kept this living memory alive.
Indeed, perhaps we should see the Haggadah (the Passover text) more like a family album than a history book. The matzah, maror, and charoset aren't mere ritual items. They are family heirlooms; souvenirs of our stay in Egypt. They are tastes we remember deep within us.
Memories move us. They inspires us. We cry with the bitter herbs of affliction and rejoice with the matzah and sweet wine of liberation.
Dear friends, we are but days away from the Passover Seder night. Let us seize the potent energy of our collective memory and let us each personally experience and assume our role in the collective Jewish story.
Join us for the Seder!