Rabbi Warren Goldstein, the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, has produced a marvellous video, set to the music of Yakov Shweky’s “Vehi She’amda” (“and it stood by us” – a passage from the Seder service) which is truly inspiring and so suitable for the Pesach (Passover) festival which will be beginning on Friday night.
As we go through the Hagadah we see the exodus from Egypt not as an isolated event but as an event which occurred in the context of our people’s history, going all the way back to our Forefathers and –mothers. We recount not only the experience of the Exodus but how we got to Egypt in the first place, the destiny of our people and the events following our redemption – the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and entering the land of Israel. We look at the full sweep of history, not just at the individual events being recounted at that moment. In the world of the Hagadah we feel past, present and future merging into a coherent and congruent story of who we are and what our Divine mission and purpose is.
Through this G-d teaches us an important lesson, and that is that we need to look at things from a broader perspective and to contextualise the events of history in order to make sense of them. Often we get pulled into the vortex of a particular event’s intensity, to the point where we are unable to see the larger picture. But one of the great teachings of Judaism is that nothing in this world is random; no event is an isolated occurrence and everything is part of the Divine sweep of history. We need to piece the fragments together so that they cohere in a meaningful way which reflects G-d’s master plan.
Read it all if you wish, but I recommend you just watch the video and be inspired.