Can You Can Split Your Sea?

Accept the world at its face value

and it won’t let you move forward.

Every impulse must be bridled, every step carefully balanced
-and even then, for every step forward, you fall back two.

You are enslaved within an Egypt but it is of your own making, so you have the key to get out!

Here is your route of escape:

Meditate deeply upon the inner soul of the world;
struggle to see the vision described by our teachers.

Part the murky waters of a coarse, material world;
enter the reality that lies beneath it;
let that be your path from bondage.

Grasp that inner vision and it will flow outward
through the heart to the conscious self,
down to the heel that steps upon the earth,
until all these, as well, become mind.

Your eyes are now open,
your heart is awake,
your hands themselves know
what to grab and what to avoid,
as your feet know where to walk.

In the struggle for deeper vision,
life becomes effortless.

You are free.
Menachem Mendel Bluming and

Challenge: Bring the Fifth Son to Your Seder!

So here’s my challenge to you: invite the fifth son to your Passover Seder!

In the course of the Passover seder we discuss the “Four Sons” and the questions they pose, from the “Wise Son” who wants to know all of the particulars of Passover observances, to the “Wicked Son” who challenges and mocks them. There is a “Simple Son” who simply asks “What’s this?” There is even a son who is there but us not engaged enough to care to ask.

Modern society has had an impact upon the Jewish people: today we have yet another son. The son who does not even attend a seder.

Yes, it is true. There are many Jews out there who are not going to attend a seder this Passover. They can be put into three basic categories: 1) They have no place to attend. 2) They do not care to attend. 3) They do not know of Passover or its seder.

Just as there are answers for the Four Sons, there must be answers for this fifth son as well.

For those who have nowhere to attend, we must aggressively advertise the invitation found within the Haggadah, “All those who are hungry, let them come and eat! Whoever is in need, let him come and partake of the Passover!”

For those who do not care to attend, we must positively reinforce their Jewish identity and expose them to the beauty of Torah observance, in general, and of the seder in particular. Most importantly, we must communicate with them in a language they can understand and identify with in their lives.

Those who do not know that it is Passover or that there is such a thing as a seder are perhaps the most worrisome of the groups. Most likely, they do not have the fond memories of Passovers past. We are all responsible for the welfare of one another. We must therefore endeavor to introduce these people to their great inheritance, the Torah, the grandeur of their Judaism.

Mendel Menachem Bluming and