The second of the Twelve Steps of AA is “[We] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” I interpret this to be the step when we come to realize that G‑d is waiting to be trusted. When I develop a trust in G‑d, I never have to be alone again.

Being restored to sanity through trust in G‑d is not just for an addict in recovery. Every human being may have moments of insanity. Any time we sabotage our connection to our Creator, we act insane. When I do something that disconnects me from my Maker, it can only be because I am temporarily insane. Sane thinking will not allow me to act contrary to my own wellbeing. And, my own wellbeing depends on a healthy relationship with my G‑d.

When we look at the history of the Exodus, we find that the Jewish people as a group experienced a journey similar to the one that recovering addicts travel. The Jewish people were enslaved to Pharaoh, and G‑d was the One who set them free. But Egypt is not just a country; it’s the paradigm for being stuck, being enslaved by the burden of self. Recovering addicts have experienced in their own bodies the bondage of addiction and the freedom of recovery. All of us, in all generations, experience the bondage of self, and cry out to G‑d to help us be freed. When the Jewish people cried out to G‑d in Egypt, they took an action of "coming to believe." Or, in the words of my friends in recovery describing the first three steps, “I can’t. He can. Let Him.” The cry was a cry of recognition: “He can.”

Later, when the Jewish people stood at Mount Sinai, G‑d revealed Himself to them saying: “I am the L-rd your G‑d, who took you out of the land of Egypt — from the house of slaves." Why would G‑d choose this as His introduction? He could have presented Himself as the Creator of the universe, or as the All Powerful One. But, by saying, “Hello, my name is G‑d, and I took you out of Egypt," He is saying, "I am there for you. I want to have a intimate relationship with you. I am a caring, loving G‑d that will 'get dirty' when you’re knee deep in mud.”

Now, that’s a message I need to hear over and over again. Maybe that’s why we remind ourselves of G‑d taking us out of Egypt daily — in the reading of the Shema. But, I need more than hearing it — I need to trust it, and I need to act on it. Trust is part of any relationship because being in a relationship is always a work in progress. It all starts with a cry, with humility — I need to be open to the possibility that the Creator knows me and is there for me.

So essentially, in their formative years, the Jewish people did the first three steps as a way of getting out of their Egypt. We continue to take these steps daily. We acknowledge our insanity; we find G‑d in Whom we trust, and we do the work to be in a relationship with Him.

G‑d is still introducing Himself as the One who took us out of Egypt. He is saying, “Just as my love for your ancestors compelled me to schlep them out, so too, my love for you can be trusted to schlep you out of the narrow places of your own thinking."

Now, that’s worth having a holiday about! Happy Passover!