Rabban Gamliel famously teaches that, on Seder night, ‘one who does not explain these three things–Pesach, Matzah and Maror–has not fulfilled their obligation.’ But shouldn’t it be reversed? A chronological order would teach Maror (representing the bitterness of slavery), followed by Pesach (the slaying of the first-born) and finally Matzah (the sudden flight to freedom). But here lies Rabban Gamliel’s wisdom. The comedian David Mitchell observes that ‘living in the moment’ is a fallacy: we cannot know whether any given moment was positive until we can put it in context. We do not know if we enjoyed a football match until the last-minute winner confirms it as either an enjoyable or a bitter experience. Just so, Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshishcha taught that we could never know the full bitterness of slavery until we had experienced a more complete human dignity after the Exodus. This is why Gamliel teaches Maror last–we did not know what bitterness we had suffered until we suffered it no longer. I hope your Seder nights will offer rich insights into what we have, where we’ve come from, and where we might be going.
Mosaic will be having a relatively quiet week over Pesach. We hope everyone meeting for the communal 2nd night Seder will enjoy an uplifting evening, and that the sun should shine for those on the Woodland Walk. After the Chag, you can join Neil Goodman for a fun quiz on the afternoon of Sunday, April 24; whilst on Tuesday April 26, Tony Bruce will be talking about his family’s history in early C20 Germany – ‘The Katzes of Koln.’ The Untangling Judaism course will recommence on the evening of April 26. All of these events are on zoom, and details are available via the Mosaic website. In person, Thursday April 28 will see the long awaited return of the Mosaic Friendship club, meeting temporarily in a Kenton venue. For further details, please contact the office. Until then – Chag Pesach Sameach v’Kasher, wishing you all a joyous and kosher Passover.