Intentional distortions of history and holocaust denial are tools that are utilized by Middle Eastern dictators to maintain power and spread disinformation. The point in history where you begin a story is crucial for the framing of the entire narrative, especially in the Middle East conflict. If we begin the narrative after the 6 day war we have a different perspective than if we begin in 1947.
The Mishnah in masechet Psuchim (10:4) tells us to start the Exodus story on the seder night with the pasuk,” Aramey Oved Avi” which translates into “my father was a wandering Aramean”. We could start our origin story in many locations, but we start with Yaakov in distress. The focal point of the Exodus story is that we as a nation began as slaves, that we were oppressed for over 400 years. If you read through the Torah nearly every character has issues and imperfections from Avraham through King Solomon
The Torah and Judaism are realistic. A nation’s history is not always flawless. The approach of the Haggadah and the approach of the Torah in general is to be honest. The most important person to be honest with is yourself. This concept is reflected here in the Haggadah through starting with the less than perfect past of our forefathers. We do not start with Moshe inflicting the plagues on the Egyptians or the splitting of the sea. We value the struggles of Yaakov wandering and the Jewish enslavement in Egypt and we learn from them.
Being honest about our past ( individually and collectively) can be something difficult to do in our own lives, but if we really think about and analyze our mistakes that is where we can have true growth. But the first step to affect this change in ourselves is to be honest with ourselves, like the Torah and Haggadah are about Jewish history.
Papa Was a Rolling Stone
4/1/2015 10:10:41 am
Honesty should always be the best policy, whether individually or collectively. Happy Passover to all.
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