By: Romi Morales
The Tanach is full of fascinating tales. Tales about people who, like us, have their weaknesses and strengths. Stories about families and the relationship of our people with other peoples and with God. The Tanach is also full of stories about different types of processes: personal, national, spiritual, moral. Undoubtedly, the Tanaj is a wonderful source from which we can learn a lot about ourselves and about Am Israel. Now, when we read the Torah, one of the most interesting topics that arise from the beginning, it is the conflicting relationship that exists between brothers. We all know the sad stories of Cain and Abel, Iaacov and Esav, Yosef and his brothers. Stories of jealousy, envy, competition and sometimes a lot of hate.
However, we get into the story of Moshe and something changes.
We know that after Pharaoh had all the Hebrew men born killed, Yojevet tried to hide the newborn, Moshe. Several months she succeeded, more when the boy grew up, this was impossible. So Moshe’s family decided to put him in a basket and leave him in the river, waiting for someone to rescue him and adopt him. However, Moshe was not alone. His sister Miriam, cautiously and liablely traveled from the shore the same path that Moshe made in the river, to make sure that nothing bad happens to him. Finally, the basket came into the hands of Batia, Pharaoh daughter, who took the boy and raised him as if it were his own.
Moshe grew up and one day left the palace. On his way he saw an Egyptian beat a Hebrew. Moshe intervened in the situation to defend the Hebrew, giving death to the Egyptian. This event is later what will lead Moshe to flee the palace to the land of Midian, where God will present himself in the form of a burning bush to ask him to return to Egypt to save his people from slavery. But Moshe does not accept God’s request. He feels that he is not able to carry out such a great mission and tries by all means to give up and convince God that he is not the right person. Only when God suggests that he carry out this task with his brother Aaron does Moshe feel calm to accept and get to work.
It is teamwork, solidarity between brothers, affection and mutual responsibility that express with each other at different times in Moshe’s life, which leads these three characters to liberate an entire people from slavery. Pesach’s story thus transforms in addition to the chag of freedom, into the chag of the brotherhood.
But not alone. But also, Pesach is also the tale of three brothers who understand that the situation of confinement, slavery, the pain that Am Israel is going through is unsustainable and that we must leave it, towards something new, towards something different. Not everyone was willing to leave Egypt. There are those who preferred, as the popular phrase says “a known evil is better than an unknown good”. Only a minority was encouraged to undertake the fascinating but a difficult process of personal and national liberation. The goal was clear: Eretz Israel. The path was not too clear.
Today, we know that the task of Moshe, Aaron and Miriam was not easy. Many challenges, dangers, threats had to be faced in the desert. But also, wonderful moments of revelation both physical and spiritual came out. The desert more than once led Am Israel to think that “Perhaps it was better to return to Egypt, to the known”, however, Moshe, Aaron and Miriam knew that the process had already begun and there was no turning back. And instead of making an ego struggle between them, what they did was, each from their place and with their particular style of leadership, tried to channel Am Israel’s resources, energies, and strengths together to bring them forward toward the common goal.
I believe that today, Pesach’s story leaves many learnings to the leaders of Tnuot Noar. We know that the lockdown situation we have been living in since the emergence of Covid-19 has done a lot of damage and we also know that the situation cannot go on like this much longer. Something has to change. And yes, there are probably people who want to stay entrenched to the reality that went, in the past, “to the known”. But there will be so many others who are encouraged, together with strong and courageous leadership, to set out on a new reality, more in line with the context, more meaningful and relevant to our chanichim and chanichot. It is our task to unite and lead our Tnuot in the process of building new forms of organization, systems, tafkidim, methodologies that allow us to put the full strength of the Tnuot Noar into play and action. The goal is clear: the formation of whole human beings, with all that this means, even or especially in times of crisis. The path, less.
None of us know the desert. None of us have ever done this tour. But that doesn’t scare us, if we understand that we’re not alone. That we have each other and that together we are more and better, we can more and better. Together, by joining the strengths of each one, the talents, the different styles of leadership, we will be able to accompany our kenim towards building a new reality for the Tnuot Noar. So, having gone through this whole process, we can look back and feel that we have achieved it: we have been the vanguard that was allowed to re-evaluate the “why” to ensure the “how”; we have been the leadership that ensured the basic conditions for others to feel worthwhile this adventure: feelings of safety, love, belonging, and personal self-realization; we have been that older brother, older sister who takes responsibility for his little brothers and little sisters, not from a place of ego and pride, but of affection, of mutual care and of historical perspective: because only those who understand that the present leadership, the future depends, is willing to undertake such an exciting journey: that of leaving our comfort zone, even when it looks like Egypt , towards our area of learning, growth and radiance, even when we have not yet managed to visualize it.
In this pesaj, he wholeheartedly desires us that we can free ourselves from all the thoughts that limit us, bind us and push us to seek that “best past”, of all the fears that stop us when it comes to innovating, creating and improving and, that this, is the starting point for the emergence of a new stage in the history of the Tnua , in which, as in the flowers after the harsh winter when the warm spring arrives, we too can bloom again.
Chazak ve’ematz and Chag Pesach Kasher and Sameach!