Saturday, April 19, 2008

On the first night of Passover

"Remember the day on which you went forth from Egypt, from the house of bondage, and how the Lord freed you with a mighty hand."

Tonight we celebrate our freedom from slavery.
Tonight we wish for freedom for all people.
Tonight I will be at the house of two leathermen.
They know I am kinky but don't get the D/s.
They do have a dungeon.
They just like to play.

Tonight we will speak
of freedom from bondage
and I'll try not to think
of the chain round my ankle.

I will always remember
the chain round my ankle.

You own me, master.
I am your slave
and in bondage I am free.


Early in tonight's seder, my eyes were drawn to this commentary in the margin.

from A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah
published by The Reconstructionist Press

The seder includes numerous contrasting symbols: parsley in salt water and bitter maror in sweet charoses; death in the shank bone next to the egg of life on the seder plate; matzah both as a symbol of freedom and bread of affliction. What is the connection between these contradictions and freedom?

Human beings are deeply conditioned to crave the pleasant and the sweet and avoid the unpleasant. This is a natural tendency. However, to be free means relating fully to all experience and choosing how to act because we wish to realize our values and commitments.

As free beings tonight we embrace all experience and are not shaken or driven by our fears and desires to make our experience conform to our expectations. We are free insofar as we do not automatically identify pleasant and unpleasant with good and bad, with desirable and undesirable, with true and false. Freedom entails a perspective that is wider than our likes and dislikes.

---Sheila Peltz Weinberg


naughtyinaustin said...

i like exploring life's dichotomies as well.

wanted to give you a little wave and let you know you have a new reader/fan.

i think we may have a mutual friend. or two.

wonderful writing, darling, keep it up.

oatmeal girl said...

thanks, naughty! i was especially happy to hear from you and know that you are reading. and yes, i do know we have mutual friends.

are you ever out this way? i hear such interesting stories about you...

oatmeal girl said...

one of the things i love about Judaism is how it treasures things by calling attention to contrasts. light and dark. weekday and sabbath (which obviously i don't really observe; or which i observe by my own rules). holy and holiest.

it makes everything shine brighter when you look at its unique qualities.

dominant and submissive?