Monday, January 14, 2013

Remember The Days Of Old, Consider The Years Of Many Generations - Parashat Bo

In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Bo, we are instructed to observe the festival of Passover, and to tell our children: 'God did this for me when I went out of Egypt on account of this .' (Exodus 13:8) In fact, children are mentioned 3 times in connection with the Exodus from Egypt: In Exodus 12:26-27; 13:8; 13:14.  The special connection with children in this parashah emphasizes the things that we do on the night of Passover in order to arouse the inquisitiveness of children. Curiously, the questions asked by the children are set in the future tense, even though the answers refer to the past.

Maybe the secret lies in remembering our past in order to secure our future. The continuity of the Jewish people depends upon the passing of its traditions from one generation to the next. It is every parent's responsibility to educate, because our heritage must be one of action, not just memory, so in each and every generation we are to see ourselves as though we came out of Egypt. When we tell and re-tell the story of the Exodus, we commemorate the moments of slavery and oppression, and we celebrate, with gratitude the achievements that we have made.  We must always commit ourselves to moving forward, while honoring our past, so that we can pave the path to our future.

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