Metzora (Shabbat Hagadol)

Real change should be impossible. Chains of causes and effects should leave everything known and ordered. Rigorously-held traditions are such chains, and something about the seder (“order”) acknowledges the strength of such an outlook. But Pesach (“skipping over”) also allows us to defy causality, to invite the possibility of change and redemption – Pesach has to be filled with renewal and innovation. Just as in forgiving somebody, the past is redefined by an act in the present, choosing to celebrate freedom also constructs the past as a narrative leading to Now. Our conscious choices, how we frame events, imbue them with the meaning we seek from them. In this week of healing, cleaning, thanking, forgiving – we reaffirm the possibility of change.

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[Inspired by: Leviticus 14;  Rav Raz Hartman on Metzora, 5772; The Thirteen-Petalled Rose by Adin Steinzaltz; and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Van Gogh’s Almond Blossom, and the spring itself.]

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