Tonight marks the beginning of the celebration of Passover in the Jewish tradition. There is a saying that we should “let all who are hungry come and eat.” It is a mitzvah (commandment, good deed) to invite a stranger to your Passover seder. During the meal we recount the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is a story we are all familiar with, and yet each year we find something new to focus on and hopefully find meaningful within the course of the meal.
It is a celebration of freedom. And as with any Jewish celebration (besides Yom Kippur) it involves food. Just as there are many ways to define freedom, there are an equal number of ways to define food. Are we filling ourselves with junk food and shoving it down on our way to our next activity? Or are we eating healthy things and savoring each bite? Are we spending our time on meaningless conversations and empty rituals, or are we giving ourselves the things that will truly satisfy us?
Whether you are celebrating Passover or not, I hope this night is different from all others. I hope that we are able to celebrate with friends and family. I hope that we are able to open ourselves to those around us and to new experiences. And most of all, I hope we choose to fill ourselves with the things that make our lives healthy, spiritual and whole.