Wednesday, April 04, 2007

And a long, strange journey it was

I used to think that it would have been better for the weekly Torah portions in the early part of Exodus to fall at the same time as Passover, but now I'm glad they don't. Let me explain.

It's one thing to read the original of the story, get through the drama of "Let My People Go" and the crossing of the sea. It's another to read the Haggadah of Pesach, which is the same story filtered through centuries of commentary and analysis, not to mention our own personal experiences. Having both at the same time would be too much.

The interesting thing about Pesach is how it marks the end of two months of orchestrated crescendo, starting with the first hints of spring at Tu b'Shevat (which features its own miniature seder), then the not-quite-supernatural salvation of the Purim story, and then finally Pesach itself, with divine presence manifest and obvious.

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