#blogexodus : getting beyond the straits and narrow

how could so many people leave at one time?

Amaz­ing­ly, in our own day we have already for­got­ten that “Hun­dreds of thou­sands of… refugees streamed home­ward…” [Rwan­dan refugees; James C. McKin­ley Jr. of The New York Times in the Los Ange­les Dai­ly News. Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 16, 1996.] Refugees all over the world seek shel­ter and com­fort.

And when our ances­tors left Egypt, they were pur­sued by Pharaoh, his horse­men and char­i­ots. We found our­selves trapped between the Egyp­tians and the sea. The Hebrew name is ים סף Yam Suf or pos­si­bly Yam Sof: a Sea of End­ings. At times each one of us becomes a refugee, per­haps not polit­i­cal, but emo­tion­al. We flee pain and dark­ness that threat­en us. We stand before the sea, pur­sued by our fears, either imag­ined or real.

Then, the Midrash tells us, one man, Nachshon by name, dis­played his com­mit­ment to free­dom by walk­ing into the sea. Only at the moment when the water reached his neck, when he could go no fur­ther on his own, did the sea part. His act of faith and courage opened the way from Egypt to free­dom. He enabled us all to be reborn into free­dom.

where is this place “Egypt,” is it the Egypt we know?

Yes, though only the name of the place is the same, the peo­ple have changed. In fact we are at peace and allied with the Egypt of today.

The Egypt of the Hag­gadah is more than a place, it is more than a nation state, it is a state of mind.

Our Hebrew word for that place is “Mitzra’yim” מִצְרַיִם, that is: the straits, or nar­rows. The geo­graph­i­cal Mitzra’yim is a pinched green strip of land in the midst of desert along the shores of the Nile Riv­er, which through­out his­to­ry has pro­vid­ed the min­i­mum 2.5 gal­lons of water per day to sus­tain life. The metaphor­i­cal Mitzra’yim is any restric­tion.

think of all the thirsts we have.

We have all come through that tight pas­sage, split the waters of what seemed to be an end­ing, only to begin anew, to search for a new way, often strug­gling for as long as forty years.

As with Nachshon, so also for us, we can only achieve our sal­va­tion through our own will­ing­ness to take risks.

what risk might I take to help us achieve our goals?

what is “#blogexodus”?

My friend and col­league Phyl­lis Som­mers has thought of yet a new cre­ative way to pre­pare for Peasach. You can learn more here.

#blogexodus schedule

blog­ging the exo­dus

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