It Was the Night before Passover

March 28, 2010

It was the Night before Passover.

T'was the night before Passover but I could not sleep. Once again we would perform the ancient ritual of the Seder, the Order, the reciting of the Haggadah (The Telling) of the Hebrew people. We would read the same stories about the Great Exodus from the land of Egypt and how our people came to be free. We would drink the four cups of wine and celebrate the freedom of the soul.

And we ask how is this night different from all other nights? But more so I ask, how is the Seder going to be different from all other Seders? Is it just a stale ritual recited year after year, boring the children until we get to the "good part", i.e. the food? Or is there more to it?

At one point one of the rabbis says, "I am as if I am seventy years old." And we say sometimes old rituals get dry. So it is the night before Passover and I am up late reading the same old words, recited by our people for so many years. And I find that nothing is old, and nothing is stale, and nothing is at all boring to me. For it you open your eyes and open your hearts you will see that so much great wisdom is contained therein, if only you open your soul to it. There is so much yet to be said and to be studied. There is so much to enrich our souls. 

T'was the night before Passover, and I realized that we must prepare ourselves. Before we can see new wisdom, we would have to "empty our cups" (Bruce Lee) and be ready to receive new water, new wisdom, new light. We must search our souls and remove the leavened bread that rises high, we must remove the haughtiness, we must humble ourselves. Only then can we receive new insights, new lessons.

It was the night before Passover and of course it occurred to me that it is the same with Krav Maga. Is there nothing new to learn? Do I know it all? Is there no reason for me to return to my teacher for training? to return to the training hall and rework my techniques? 

Again, the answer lies in our preparation; humble yourself, realize that our cups are still empty, and we will be able to receive new insights, new lessons, new techniques, and new understanding.

So tomorrow night we sit at the table, just as our people did thousands of years ago, just as they did in the Warsaw Ghetto under the brutal occupation of the Nazis, and as they will do one thousand years from now. Open your hearts my friends, there is still much to learn, if you are worthy.