Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passover: "Removing the Puffiness from our Souls"

Passover, or Pesach, is one of the most commonly observed Jewish holidays, with over 80% of Jews (and many more non-Jews, or honorary Jews, like me ;) attending a seder. The primary observance of Passover is related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery. As it translates to modern day, it is celebrated by removing the leaven from the home, as the Jews didn't have time to let their bread rise as they were in a hurry to leave Egypt. Symbolically, it represents a way of removing the "puffiness" - or the arrogance and pride, from our souls.

What beautiful symbolism and what an amazing time for us all to release some of our own "puffiness" and restore some simplicity and humility. I grew up in a Jewish community, and while Passover is not one of the more holy of holidays, it is one of the most observed and for me, one of the most special. It reminds me of my friends and their families who would welcome me in to join in their Passover seder's and sing the songs, eat the wildly different foods and share in their community. For me Judiasm has never been a religion, it has been a community and a culture.

For a long time I was very anti religious for many of which is the arrogance and ego that we sometimes see in religion that has often been the cause of major religious strifes and upheavals as our differences not our similarities are often the source that separates us. But what if we could remove some of this "puffiness" in our souls and begin to see each other's religions in a healthy and supportive way. Each is a path to self love, unconditional love and accepting and seeing the best in ourselves and ourselves in others. For me they are all paths to clear out our souls to our higher selves.

How might you remove a little "puffiness" from your soul as your move forward in your life and begin to see yourself and others in a higher light? Often, in times of economic difficulties, we tend to live in fear and ego, but what if we could reach out and accept and love others for their differences and similarities and be open to receiving that same love and support from others.

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