After enduring decades defined by pain and suffering, finally the Jewish people escaped from their horrific, backbreaking slavery in Egypt. At last this grueling chapter of their lives was coming to a close, and they could savor the sweet taste of liberty.

And just as the dawn of this new era was about to emerge, just as they were about to bite into their succulent freedom . . . all appears to be lost. Pharaoh and his legions have a change of heart and are chasing wildly after them, while the Red Sea lies before them like an impenetrable wall, blocking their path of escape.

But isn’t life like that? Just as soon as we’ve overcome one huge hurdle, there’s another one, just around the corner, waiting to greet us.

We work through our hardship. We are ready to give ourselves a well-deserved pat on the back for a job well done, when along comes a new trial, a new responsibility, something new to contend with. Yes, life begins once again.

And perhaps that is the point—a reminder that there is no rest in this world; there are always new heights to climb, a new plateau to overcome and a new moment to seize.

Only in the messianic era will our lives be filled with tranquility, security and serenity.

Surprisingly, though, our sages tell us that when we finally experience that blissful time, we will look back at exile longingly. Longingly? What will we yearn for, when our lives have been so positively transformed?

We’ll miss the challenge. We’ll miss the sweat and blood. We’ll miss the euphoric feeling of climbing and reaching the summit.

On the 7th day of Passover, we celebrate the Jewish people’s crossing over a swollen sea that miraculously split to allow them to reach their freedom. We also anticipate the long-awaited day when the lives that we are so familiar with, gushing with too much pain and sorrow, will finally split and unveil a deeper, seamless, and more intimate relationship with G‑d.

As we make that last climb before the summit, as that last challenge of exile comes our way, let’s embrace the effort. Our nation’s long and difficult sojourn, their sweat, toil and miraculous perseverance over the many centuries of history, has finally paid off. Their journey to light up the most distant corners of the world has been well-traveled. We stand at the cusp of a new era, waiting to cross over and enter our holy land. And as our world seems to become crazier and more frenetic by the minute, let’s stop and smell the faint scent of redemption in the air.

Wishing you a chag sameach! May this holiday of freedom bring us our ultimate freedom!

Chana Weisberg,
Editor, TJW