Featured in local papers on Thursday, March 28, 2002. Copyright 2002 by Yosef Y. Polter

Passover - A Time for Renewal

Judaism follows a lunar, rather than solar, calendar.  By Jewish law, however, a thirteenth month is added to the Jewish calendar every three or four years, so that Passover will always occur in the spring - the season when plants begin to sprout and blossom anew, after being dormant for months. 

This familiar drama mirrors the experience of the Israelites during the period of the exodus 3,315 years ago.  After a few hundred of years of slavery in Egypt it looked as if all was lost.  But at last the emancipation brought new life, new hope, new resolutions - in short, a fresh start.

The lesson for us: Though we may be in difficult situations at times, we should not despair, and always watch for, and work towards, opportunities for renewal.  Being aware of this cycle should inspire us to serve G‑d with more joy, trusting that even after dire times the flowers can still bloom.  In fact, a joyful attitude and complete trust are actually key factors in causing a positive turnaround.  This is not only the philosophy of many faiths, but has also been scientifically proven in many a medical study.  One need not be religious to embrace this concept.

Serving G‑d with joy and adhering to a high standard of justice, morality, and kindness will surely elicit a similar response from G‑d, bringing the world to a state of true peace.  May it come to pass speedily in our days.

Rabbi Yosef Polter is the Director of the Chabad Jewish Center located at 148 Great Road (Rt. 2A), in Acton.  (978) 929-2513 or 758-8994. 
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