Here’s something to think about as we sit down to the Seder.
…We read about the great Rabbi Akiva and five other Rabbis of the Talmud.
How they stayed up all night talking about the Exodus from Egypt.
And it’s easy for this story to get overlooked.
Especially when everyone smells the delicious food!
But this story should fascinate us. And inspire us.
… You know when it took place?
In the first century.
The Romans had destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.
Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed or sold as slaves.
It looked like it was all over!
No Jewish future.
… And what did these Rabbis do?
They sat down to have a Seder!
To talk about the Exodus!
… What would the intellectuals of the time have said to them?
“Get a life”!
“Forget it. Its ancient history!
You’re lucky if there are any Jews a hundred years from now”!
But these Rabbis knew better!
They knew that the Exodus wasn’t only about freedom from slavery.
It was about becoming an Eternal People.
These Rabbis declared their faith in the Jewish future.
And they were right!
… Rabbi Akiva had faith in G-d.
But he also had faith in us!
That we wouldn’t just get together at the Seder for a good meal.
And not even to just talk about our past.
But that we would commit ourselves to the Jewish future.
We owe it to him to have a meaningful Seder!
… I once shared this at a CTN Lunch and Learn.
A man came over to me, beaming with pride. “I have a grandson named Akiva”!
Then a woman came over, “I also have an Akiva”!
Both proud grandparents have children that became religiously observant.
And they each have an Akiva that goes to a Jewish Day School.
They study Torah. They know Rabbi Akiva. And they study his teachings.
And Rabbi Akiva would give them a very big hug!
Have a wonderful Passover,