Pesac Center

woodringsThis month we begin the celebration of Passover. In considering this, I am struck by the fact that the slaves that fled Egypt were truly a motley crew. There were Israelites who worshiped the One God, and others who were open to other ideas (witness the Golden Calf). Having lived for generations in a foreign land, there were likely intermarried and blended families, and families that formed for convenience or survival. There were survivors of persecution, non-Jews and friends of Jews, other kinds of slaves and servants, people who were running away and others just seeking something better.
There were thousands of diverse people thrown suddenly together on the Sinai desert. They desperately needed food, water, and a center around which to orient their community and their lives, something that could move with them across the wilderness and through the years.
I once read of a nomadic African people who traveled with a sacred pole. Where ever they stopped to make camp, they erected the pole. That became the center of the world for as long as they were there. Everyone in the camp oriented all hunting and gathering, going and returning, living and storytelling, around that center.

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