03 April 2007

Selling off the Chametz

Pesach in the diaspora. Another year goes by, and I am increasingly reminded of how we Jews are seen by the rest of the world: we are the chametz, the bain of their existence. They would rather lie to entire generations than openly acknowledge this, but we know the truth. There's a reason we end every seder with "Next Year in Jerusalem:" it is the only safe place to call home.

Or, is it? You know what I'd really like to see this Pesach? I'd like to see us sell off our own chametz to the highest bidder, or the lowest bidder for that matter. Take Olmert! Take Livni! Take Peretz, take the Neuteri Karta, take the looney leftists, the peaceniks, and all the wandering Jews who feel the need to spend a day or two in our Palestinian-occupied territory in the name of radical rebellion! Go ahead! And while you're at it, take all that institutionalized guilt that plagues us every time we call ourselves Jews-- consider it our free gift to you!

The chametz you least want is the hardest stuff to give away. But, is that a reason to hold on to it all? Let this be the season, let this be the time when we as a nation give up our chametz once and for all. Let's start putting our sins on the goat and stop scapegoating ourselves. Let's start taking pride in the fact that we are the people of G-d. Let's start believing that miracles really can--and have--happened in our midst. Let us trust in the truth that we repeat to each other every Pesach: that our G-d, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, has delivered us and will deliver us from every sort of slavery we've ever encountered, including the slavery of not trusting and believing in ourselves-- in who He made us to be.

When all of this happens, when my people stand up with pride in our G-d, in each other, and in themselves, then my bread of affliction will become my bread of joy. Then, and only then, will "L'Shana Haba B'Yerushalayim" be a living reality.

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