What do Passover, Productivity, and Joumor Have In Common?

One word. FREEDOM.

Passover is the biblical story of the Jewish people being freed from slavery in Egypt, wandering in the desert for 40 years, and finally arriving in the land of Israel after all sorts of wacky miracles occur. It’s a dramatic tale with lots of gore and nailbiting adventures….What I like about Passover are the rich metaphors, and aside from the storytelling and the enormous annual feast laden with tradition, each year I have renewed hope to be free- most of all from myself.

In Kabbalah, the Hebrew word for Egypt, mitzrayim,is explained to mean “limitations-” in the story of Passover, the Jewish slaves sought freedom from their years of toil. Mitzrayim can mean literal external limitations but also internal non-tangible limitations within ourselves.

As the story goes, when Egypt’s ruler Pharaoh denied Moses’s requests for freedom for his people, the Egyptian people underwent a series of 10 plagues (that were bloody and death-filled- I’m not kidding about the gore, people!) before Pharaoh ultimately relented and freed the Jews.

At this point I like to carry the metaphor into a Joumorous analysis:

What 10 “plagues” have I put myself through or do I still have to suffer before I will free myself into my own “land of milk and honey?”

How bad do things have to get before we choose to make a different choice?

At this point I’d encourage you to write a list of 10 habits or situations you are in that are enslaving you, but most of you reading this will move on, never making it to the pen and paper…So check out an alternative idea at the end of the newsletter. 🙂

We are all slaves in some way, and our enslavement generally moves from one thing to another- it takes effort and surrender to become free altogether. When the Jews left Egypt, they were in a big hurry. Many of us experience intense motivation when things are really really bad…but once they lighten up a bit, we often lose the intensity or the motivation altogether.

After 10 plagues and a dramatic exit at night (this is when they fled and the bread did not have time to rise) they Jews (resisted?) took 40 years to get to the promised land, which was only about 250 miles away (or about a month’s travel)! They weren’t the only ones to take 480 times as long to complete a goal/opportunity…we’ve all put things off for way too long, even if wethought we really wanted to accomplish it.

Let’s deal with one plague at a time, and take one step closer to our personal promised lands.

 

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