17 April 2006

Who Knows Ten?

Ten years ago this Pesach - the first time I'm away from home for Pesach. In school. A cute red-head who has an Israeli flag on her ceiling arranges places for the two of us for seder at the Hillel house. She bails out; I wander in to the Chabad house, thinking it must be the right place - cuz' that's where the Jews are at. As we get up to wash our hands, one of the fellows in black asks my name and on the spot tells me that my name has numerical value 32, and there are 32 paths of wisdom in Jewish mysticism.

Jewish Mysticism?

Next semester I'm in a course titled 'Jewish Mysticism.' Fear and trembling in the student union. Hooked in by a midrash. Learning about the Chassidei Ashkenaz in the tender pre-dawn hours of morning and putting away my cigarettes, for good.

Nine years ago Pesach is the last time I made seder at my parent's house.

Eight years ago Pesach - having given up a host of other vices, cleaning for Pesach, clean out the treif along with chametz.

Seven years ago Pesach - in a kosher apartment. Cleaning for Pesach almost cleans me out - exhausted. Make seder for my family (and friends).

Six years ago, before Pesach - in the holy land. I'm asking whether I should be keeping one day or two. "You have to make the decision - where are you? Are you a Ben Eretz Yisrael, or a Ben Hu"L?" I wrestle. I visit Florida. It's clear. I keep one day.

Five years ago Pesach - still in Yeshiva.

Four years ago Pesach - I'm in Israel, working for a living, staying in Israel in spite of it all. I hear a bomb explode on the second day.

Three years ago Pesach - I'm in my own apartment. The holy rolling MCA is there. Friends crash out on the couches. We pray sunrise at the Kotel.

Two years ago Pesach - in my apartment in Israel. My parents come to stay. We clean, make Pesach together, eat off of plastic plates.

One year ago Pesach - we drink the fifth cup.

And this year? And this year?

May it be a redemption for us all.

06 April 2006

What is your Passion?

When my father counsels people about their career choices, he asks them, "What's your Passion?"

It's a deep, deep question.

I'm busy wrestling with the distinct feeling that I'm compromising on my life. That I am not shooting for the great, but settling for what is merely good. The ironic, and terrible, part of it all is - I have no idea what the great is. I don't really know what I want to do.

So I'm chewing on this. What is my passion? How is it that a person can not even know what their passion is, what it is they care about, enjoy? But I'll give myself a little bit of forebearence as I admit that I really don't know.

I'm praying that God breathes some life and vision into this soul, and puts some real flesh on these dry bones.

Hey now Momma, I got no idea, but that won't stop from rollin' along and prayin' for light and life and lessons in love, love and dancing and drumming on the walls of the heart, land, country! God!

So what is your passion?