Passover and Easter: We Look Back as We Also Look Ahead
Our chaplaincy team plays a huge role at the Witherell, tending to the spiritual needs of our many residents and providing solace, support, study, and celebration. A few days ago, the team contributed the following message for one of our internal newsletters, in light of the fact that the Passover and Easter holidays will be observed in the coming week. We thought we’d share it with you as its message is powerful, inspiring, and thoughtful.
“The great twentieth century mystic, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, once taught that ‘If you want to search for God, you needn’t to go to the peak of a mountain or the depths of a forest. Just ponder the moment and the mystery of time.’
“The invitation to consider the ‘moment and mystery of time’ feels most powerful to me at this time of year as we approach the springtime festivals of Passover and Easter. While modernists might preach: ‘Be in the now!‘ thousands of years of Judeo-Christian thought have a different approach to the mystery of time.
“Living in the present and working to create a brighter future are important, but these can only be achieved by deeply understanding our past. The springtime festivals demonstrate this in narrative and ritual form.
“On the Jewish holiday of Passover, the celebration is centered around a festive table where attendants tell [at the seder], and then symbolically experience, the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Why dwell on this chapter of Jewish history? As the philosopher George Santayana taught, ‘Those who cannot remember their past are condemned to repeat it.”
“Similarly, during Holy Week and Easter, Christians look back at the last days of Jesus’ life, remembering his teachings, his sacrifice, and his resurrection. By recalling and reenacting some of Jesus’ experiences, history can stir a greater affirmation of faith. ‘Love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’ The Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:6-7
“In early spring, tulips are among the first flowers to bloom, but their bulbs are planted during colder and more challenging times. Like these flowers, the spring holy days show us that with the weight and hope of history in our hearts, we can chart a more mindful present and a brighter future. “
With peace and blessings: Jennifer together with the Chaplaincy team, Elizabeth, Tony, and Sue