Pesach & Easter

a time for reflection – to deepen faith –

a time for redemption – to deepen faith –

a time for renewal – to deepen faith –

Pesach – Passover – commemorates the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt led by Moses out of 400 years of slavery into Israel, the land that God had promised on oath to Abraham. The Promised Land was finally reached, His promise fulfilled. 

A time to commemorate, in amongst many other issues, the freedom from bondage. I sent Susan Schwartz my friend and co-author in the US, Chag Sameach good wishes via email last night. She responded by saying inter alia this was a time to commemorate ‘freedom from bondage’. I’ve been thinking about that word ‘bondage’ – and all it can and does mean on both individual and collective levels. The meaning of the breaking of the matzoh bread – 

Easter – a remembrance of the carpenter from Nazareth and his wise teachings, told most times in parable form. A reflection on His resurrection 3 days after his burial. Did you know that when Christ was crucified there was then an earthquake? It’s a recorded fact. A remembrance of His love for the sinner who truly repents and the saint, reminding us that we too can put aside our hates and enmity even in these troubled times in which we live – and experience a renewal of our faith in love –

Faith – blessed are those of strong faith and those who feel their faith wavering. We here in South Africa have mostly totally lost faith in the president. We are going through a very difficult time and we forsee it for a long while yet. Last Friday, thousands upon thousands of us across the country took to the streets. Across races, religions, ages – peacefully, vibrantly, noisily, in unity. The one I attended was wonderful and it was so great to be part of this. There were no political affiliations represented – it was mostly a call for the president to resign and for our country to regain unity. I carried a home made banner (helped by my husband) showing the flag with ‘unity’ written across it and on the back I pasted red hearts. 

There is another major one tomorrow when people will march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, for the president to resign.

Many of us here in South Africa, if not the majority, are feeling the strain of our faith being tested. I have a real and painful awareness of what is happening in other parts of the world, and I despair – and Doubt, a strange bedfellow to Faith. Please G.d may it be strengthening –

I did not want to let Pesach and Easter go by without acknowledging it. All good wishes to you all. Thank you for reading.

26 Comments on Pesach and Easter

  1. A time of change and transition for all of us. My country is the cause of much evil and suffering. It hurts to watch these tendencies grow stronger. I think of the miracles of Easter and Passover. Both were times of suffering and times of hope.

    I loved decorating eggs with my children and was grateful when friends invited us for Passover. This year, my son, his partner, and I did lots of planting and tending the gardens over Easter weekend. It felt good to have my hands in the fertile earth. Blessings to you, Susan. Prayers for nonviolent change.

    • Thanks for coming by Elaine. My country is in a similar boat, for different reasons maybe – but tribalism and democracy do not good bedfellows make. And tribalism is growing stronger among the politicians at the top of the pecking chain. The biggest vultures first …

      The messages of Easter and Pesach are beacons of light among the darkness. Your weekend sounds lovely with your hands in the fertile soil. Makes me think of soul in soil …Thank you for the blessings, to you, and prayers for nonviolent change ..

  2. my prayers for you and the situation at your place susan; things are similar all over, including our country, wherein the fundamentalist are bringing in division among people and there is a great need to pray for the leaders of the country.

    wishing you in advance Happy Easter !! May the risen Lord bring peace and harmony in this world at large… love and hugs to you.

    • Thanks Genevive .. peaceful protests (another big one) going on today at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, the capital and is the seat of Parliament. Yes, prayers are needed all over the world for PEACE.

      A Happy Easter to you and family, with love.

  3. Yes, today (Tues) is actually the Jewish Passover, so very appropriate to share. A sacred time for many. In ancient times a lamb would have been sacrificed. In the Easter story, Christ also is the Passover lamb. His one-time sacrifice on the cross was meant for the Jews in particular but for non-Jews too who believed. It’s an interesting story and one I will reflect on this Easter.

    “Female Scientists Before Our Time”

  4. This is a beautiful post, both visually and spiritually. I am inspired by the possibility of unity with “no political affiliations represented.” I would love to see something like this happen in America. I wish you good luck, blessings and safety.

    • Thank you JoAnna. Wouldn’t that be a dream realised if there was unity across the board? Thank you for your good wishes, and for you too and all in the US .. and everywhere.

  5. Thank you, Susan, for this inspiring reflection!
    True faith–when tested–will emerge stronger than before. Your essay will help many on their journey to that place of strength!
    May the Easter season bring you the blessings you bring to others!

    • Thank you for coming by Rabbi Stephen! Such an important reminder by you that faith when tested emerges stronger than before. Thank you for your kind words. Your message over Pesach and at all times is one that always inspires. Chag Sameach to you and family.

  6. Hi Susan – thank you for this post and the information it contains for us to think about – I’ll be back … as I’m busy for the next 2 days … I’ve been thinking about you marching, and all the other challenges that are going on in this part of the world … Bondage is not a good word … and I’ve heard that today too … the Nigerian school girls, and slavery in Libya …

    We can only spread the gentle word to many who need comfort … and let the butterfly wings spread their magic …

    With thoughts to so many … Hilary

    • Thank you Hilary … funnily enough I nearly put up an image of butterfly wings to end my post.

      When I write about bondage I also mean the ways in which many of us ordinary civilised citizens are in bondage – to our materialistic comforts, our complacency, our silence, our ingrained ways of thinking and feeling, our habits and so on …

      So the gentle word is needed – and all good thoughts to you and have a blessed Easter.

  7. I did not realise that you were a fellow South African, Susan. Well done on marching on Friday. Unfortunately, I had to work and I was quite bleak about it. I wrote my haiku as my contribution. Wishing you a wonderful Easter/Pesach period and God bless us all.

    • I also thought you lived elsewhere Robbie but now I know you live in Stellenbosch! That area was my hunting ground in years past! Somerset West, Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town …

      Yes, may God bless us all – have a wonderful Easter and Easter egg making and hunting!

  8. My heart TRULY goes out to you Susan. Having a villain for a leader is a ghastly experience. I’m not terribly happy with Trump either, but we may be stuck with him for four years, although he is anticipating being in office for eight years.

    It is interesting to me too that so much of the animosity in the world continues to be about religion… Muslims vs. Jewish vs. Christian. I want to scream “WHY can’t we all just get along!?” Plus, here the fundamentalists are trying to control women’s lives and their bodies. So much needs to change, but why can’t we live in harmony?

    My fear is that something gigantic is headed toward our world… may the Lord be with us!

    Susan, I wish you and your family a very Happy Easter. Big Hugs… and I wish Peace for the world!

    • A Villain! Spot on Gwynn, thanks! We’re a growing democracy evidenced by free speech and we’re pretty vocal and involved in what goes on in our beleaguered land. We’ve had our backs up against the wall on many occasions but we’re a stalwart and persevering bunch.

      Yes, a huge concern on my side too that something too hot to handle may be heading our way worldwide. War is fairly easy to start, very difficult to end ..

      A blessed Easter to you and family. May peace reign upon us all … hugs to you too.

  9. God bless you at this Passover/Easter season. You wrote that you give and receive decorated eggs. Is that for all ages? just for children? If you have a particularly beautiful of meaningful one, would you post a photo of it? We dye eggs for egg hunts and decoration, but we don’t exchange them.

    • Thank you Anne for coming by and for your Easter wishes – the same to you and family. I personally have not decorated or created an Easter egg. On occasion I have bought beautifully crafted eggs, made from clay or wood and painted/dyed and given as gifts not necessarily at Easter. It’s such a lovely and artistic craft and must be enormously satisfying for the creator and such fun to go ‘a hunting for them. I have no grandchildren as yet, but I well remember when my sons were younger and the fun we had in searching for those chocolate eggs! Do check robbiesinspiration above in her comment to me for her artistic creations and ways to make.

  10. Hi Susan, thanks for your post. I know that Easter has always been my favourite part of the year and that I am very motivated to tell the “real” story about Easter (if there is one) as a celebration of fertility all over the world Recently I wrote this blog about it to ensure that people know that Eostre was never really worshipped in Europe, she was just a fabrication of a monk
    I wish you the most wonderful fertility, you have been working really hard. You and Susan make such a lovely writing couple, you compliment each other in such an inspiring way. You seem to ignite the best thoughts about a subject when you are exchanging thoughts.

    • Thanks so much Susanne. I will definitely check out your Eostre link – it’s bound to be most interesting. And the eggs that we paint and give and receive at this time are definitely a symbol of fertility. Mary Magdalene and her red egg is a fascinating story. I hope Susan comes by and reads what you say about our writing! Have a Happy Easter.

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