Although I am an atheist, I was raised in a predominantly Christian country, in a Conservative Jewish family (I’m bar mitzvah) and am well aware of the importance of both Easter and Passover. They no longer (or never did) carry any religious significance for me, but they do (in the broadest sense) carry a great deal of spiritual significance . . . in terms of the import of each holiday’s lessons on the human condition.
So . . . without going into great detail to assert my bona fides when it comes to all things religious, I just want to wish my Yiddishe meshpuchah, chag Pesach kasher vesame’ach, and my Christian friends and family (yes, there be Catholics in mine) a blessed and joyful Easter.
In this trying time we’re experiencing, we can use the dual messages of liberation from slavery and oppression, and the dialectic of life and death that both these holidays bring us. May we come out of this pandemic with a new appreciation for life, and for each other and the value each of us intrinsically brings to human society. Peace, love, and Harvey Krishberg.
Hang in there . . . I love you all.
Leave a comment | tags: Bunny, Easter, Eggs, Egypt, Jesus, Matzoh, Moses, Passover, Pesach, Resurrection | posted in Family, Spiritual
Passover is a very meaningful holiday for Jews. During the seder, the ritual dinner that’s served that evening, the story of bondage by the Egyptians is recounted and thanks are given for their release after a series of plagues are visited upon the slaveholders, culminating in the slaughter of first-born Egyptians and the successful escape via Moses’s parting of the Red Sea.
Thanksgiving has been a meaningful holiday for we “Americans”, first celebrated in 1621 but not officially until 1863, when President Lincoln declared it a national holiday. It was meant to celebrate the good fortune of the original Pilgrims, as well as that of all of us who came to live in this land.
Much as we have learned Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America wasn’t exactly as benign and wonderful as we were led to believe (certainly when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s), we now know the generosity of those indigenous people who provided for that first Thanksgiving we now celebrate, was rewarded with hatred and genocide.
I can’t speak for everyone but, as far as I’m concerned, Thanksgiving is now a holiday in which we celebrate the love of family and friendship, as well as remember how deeply racism, nationalism, and white supremacy are rooted in our national identity. In this time of deep despair over the backward direction our nation is heading, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to a history that includes everyone, regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or any other distinguishing characteristic, as well as seek what objective truth there is, absent favoritism, nationalism, and whataboutism.
I hope everyone has – or had – a wonderful holiday, filled with love and generosity of spirit. I also hope everyone remembered – and remembers – we are far from blameless and sometimes we have – and do – stumble on our journey toward a “more perfect union.”
Leave a comment | tags: dinner, Egyptians, Freedom, Holidays, Indigenous People, Jews, Lincoln, Moses, Nationalism, Natives, Passover, racism, Slavery, Thanksgiving, Turkey, White Supremacy | posted in Education, Family, History, Personal, Politics