My husband and I celebrated Passover this year by spending four hours in a synagogue near our home. The four hour service was comprised of prayers and songs, over 80% of which were in Hebrew. We tried to follow along the best we could, reading the English version while Rabbi and the others spoke in a tongue foreign to us. In a room of elderly Jewish men and women, we were the only Black ones, the only ones not wearing kippahs, the only ones who looked confused.
None of that mattered though. We were just happy to be there. Just happy to be around people that honor the Passover, keep the traditions of the Bible and worship Yahweh. The Rabbi at this synagogue is one of my favorite people in my city. Over the years He has welcomed me with open arms and graciously taught me about the roots of my faith. At one point in the service Rabbi gave a short teaching. He read two poems and then we all discussed them. It was different than the Christian tradition of a Pastor preaching and the congregation listening. We all had an opportunity to share our thoughts and express our opinions. Rabbi even asked me to read a passage in English. I felt truly honored.
Rabbi spoke to us about the miracles of Passover. Most of us are familiar with the splitting of the Red Sea, the plagues being released and God setting the Israelites free from bondage. Rabbi elaborated on it, he dug deeper, helping us to ponder what it must have been like to be living those miracles as they happened.
He read from a poem called Miracles by Yehyda Amichai. This was my favorite excerpt:
"From a distance everything looks like a miracle but up close even a miracle doesn't appear so. Even someone who crossed the Red Sea when it split only saw the sweaty back of the one in front of him."
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