PASSOVER 2009–II — a time of ambivalence

Yesterday's posting spoke to the complex and confounding notion of compassion for one's 'enemies'.  After all the Hebrews had been subjected to 400 years of slavery, their first-born males had been hunted down for drowning and they had been denied exit visas from the land of Egypt.

Clearly the ceremony of withdrawing a drop of wine for each plague the Egyptian's suffered is filled with ambivalence.  In this case, the 'higher' emotion of compassion outweighs the 'lesser' but deeply felt desire for revenge.

But there is another more immediate feeling of ambivalence which accompanies the holiday.  Because Passover is so intensely experienced  as a family celebration, the awareness and sense of loss of deceased loved-ones is even more acutely felt.

Perhaps an awareness that love never truly dies, that our loved-ones are with us, will support us at such times of ambivalent emotions.

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