Tomorrow night begins the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Most people who have some knowledge of Passover and the story of Moses.
Moses is born to Jewish slaves at a time in history when the Jewish people are enslaved in Egypt. Pharaoh is told of a prophecy that states that a newborn son of a Jewish slave will be his downfall. His soldiers are sent to kill every newborn son within the slave community to prevent this young man from reaching his destiny.
Tradition tells us that in an effort to save her son, Moses’s mother Yochoved, put her son in a basket and sets the basket adrift on the Nile. The basket is found by the Egyptian princess who takes Moses in and raises him as her own. Moses’s older sister Miriam, having followed the basket, offers the princess the services of a wet-nurse. That wet-nurse is Yochoved.
Moses grows up as a prince of Egypt. He believes that his destiny is set. But when he kills an overseer who is beating a slave nearly to death, he runs from Egypt in fear. This is the beginning of the Passover story and Moses’s journey to the man he is destined to become.
I am not that observant in my faith as some are. Like many adults, I was raised in an observant Jewish home, but I have chosen to be a little more lax in my religious observance. But there are certain traditions that I will always observe and Passover is one of them.
As a modern woman and a feminist, one of my favorite aspects of this story is the strong women who will, in each their own way, help Moses to reach his destiny. Whether it is his mother, who makes the ultimate parental sacrifice, the Egyptian princess he calls mother or his elder sister Miriam who is not going to sit idly by the wayside, this story, unlike many biblical stories have fully fleshed out, strong, capable and intelligent women. I am proud to be descended from these women.
The other aspect of this story that never fails to amaze me is the presence of hope. When all seems lost and the darkness is encroaching, sometimes all you need to pick yourself up and move forward is that little nugget of hope.