Reflecting on Passover and the lessons I’ve learned from those before me

  • Posted on April 13, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

As I sit here and think about the holiday of Passover, I am struck by a profound sense of gratitude for my life today. I think back on the fact that if my ancestors were not taken out of Egypt thousands of years ago, I would not be sitting where I am right now. From the obviously consequential to seemingly unimportant, if any action or decision throughout the history of the Jewish people were altered, I would not exist today.

The story of Passover is one of love, relationships, redemption, truth, freedom, rebirth and more. But as I reflect, I keep focusing in on the individual people, moments and decisions that shaped the future of the Jewish people at large, and more directly, myself. Every person who came out of Egypt chose to leave the lives they knew behind on an unknown journey towards G-d and freedom.

These stories and moments make me ask myself: what will I choose that will shape the future generations to come? What have I learned from those before me? What will I pass down? Amongst many things, Passover is a story of role models.

As far back as I can remember, I was always inspired by the story of Moses. During the slavery in Egypt, a law was put in place that all Jewish boys had to be thrown in the Nile river. Moses, born to his Jewish parents Yocheved and Amram, was supposed to be destined for the crocodiles of the river. Instead, his sister Miriam placed him in a woven basket that drifted to the Egyptian palace where Batya, the king’s daughter, found him and raised him as her own. Moses grew up an Egyptian prince, and still somehow found the strength to stand up to his own adoptive family when he was called upon – even with all of the love and respect he had for them, he chose to stand against the oppression his own family had put in place with humility, love and respect.

It is important to look to your role models in every stage of life, whether home, work or community life. Growing up, my mother was always a role model for me. She took challenges with love and ease, always keeping her faith strong, and not allowing life’s challenges to determine her demeanor and outlook. At work, I have always been inspired by Arthur Rucker. He was my very first project manager, and always managed situations with kindness and grace. He ensured our teammates felt valued and heard. As I look to pass on the messages of my ancestors and my day-to-day role models, I aspire to become one myself.

This Passover, I will continue to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors. We will light the candles, sing the songs, and retell the story of the Exodus. We will eat the bitter herbs, drink the wine, and remember the plagues that G-d brought upon Egypt. And we will take the time to reflect on the lessons that we can learn from our ancestors, and on how we can apply those lessons to our own lives.

In this way, Passover is not just a holiday, but a way of life. It is a reminder of the power of role models, and of the importance of passing on their messages to future generations. As we celebrate this year, let us rededicate ourselves to this task, and let us strive to be the kind of role models that our children and grandchildren can look up to and emulate. This Passover, I encourage each and every one of us to look to our role models in gratitude, and to ask ourselves: What kind of role model do we want to be?

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