Mei Hashilo'ach and Islamic Jihad
I wanted to tell you how wonderful our sedarim (plural for 'seders') were, even without the kids being with us (sorry, kids!); it's really because our minhag (custom) is to sing, sing, and sing some more. We also have divrei Torah and discuss yetzi'at Mitzrarim of course, but we also sing it. And to me, song is prayer: that is what makes our seder different (mah nishtanah ha-seder hazeh, mi-kol ha-sedarim...?).
It instills a mood of beauty - of elevation, of kedushah--somehow (thank you, Abba and Eema, z"l, for teaching me in your ways. I hope I've taught it to my children as well. . .)
So down to the nitty gritty: our first seder officially "ended" (after Nirtzah) at 3:30 a.m., when our guests slowly and surreally began falling away from the table, floating (-or was it 'flopping') onto the living room couch, and crawling up the stairs to bed in slow motion (where wonderful old and good friends of ours were staying over for the 3 day YomTov).
That was the official end, before the songs at the end of the Haggadah. I wasn't going to let the seder end without them, so while humans were falling all around me (it was a battlefield!), I continued to sit and sing every song 'till the end, all by myself; I even continued and read Shir Hashirim, and sang the verses and phrases to which I knew melodies, which were several.
By the time I finished, it was 5:30 a.m. The second seder started earlier by a bit, but we had more discussion and questions and divrei Torah. The timing was not much better: I got to bed around 4:30 a.m. (Did I say I'm too old for this? I'm too old for this!)
I've decided I like a "talking" seder as well as a "singing" seder; but it must have the singing, or it can be a crashing bore, especially when one has guests who have not a clue as to what is going on--as we did on the first night.
I learned a little as well, together with our friends, who had printed out a Torah from the Mei Hashiloach about the word "Pesach," meaning 'skipping over,' to coincide with G-d's ineffable name; basically, it showed Kabbalistically how the skipping over when the Israelites weren't yet refined, in Egypt, is a parallel to the final redemption: how G-d will 'skip' over the Jewish People again, as He did just before Yetzi'at Mitzrayim, because we will not yet be refined enough--and He will bring the Redemption anyway.
So what in tarnation does all this have to do with Islamic Jihad, which should not even be mentioned in the same BREATH, let alone written on the same PAGE as the Mei Hashiloach, or any Torah for that matter?
(Ok, I admit this is a stretch, but...) well, you've heard about the new ruling by our illustrious administration, have you not? It seems there is a new front in the war on terrorism. We are just not permitted to use the words "jihadists," "mujahadeen," or even "Islamo-fascism" anymore. Interdit. Verboten. Assur. It seems that, according to our Brilliant Bushie & cohorts, using those terms might give legitimacy to their claims, or (even worse) cause offense to Muslims. And we wouldn't want to do that, would we? After all, look how upset they were after the Muhammad's-turban-is-a-bomb-cartoons. We wouldn't want more riots or firebombings, would we?
So, here we see that the whole world is continuing on its downward slide-through Political Correctness-to oblivion.
So, is Israel any different? Well, since Israel is still delivering fuel and supplies to Gaza, still discussing dismantling settlements, giving back the Golan (?!) and dividing Jerusalem, it seems that Israel is sliding along down the slippery slope with the rest of the world.
That is why the Torah from the Mei Shiloach gave me some hope. It states that, just as Hashem 'skipped over' the houses of the Jews--meaning the lack of refinement and readiness of the Jewish People for the Exodus from Egypt and slavery--and took them out of Egypt anyway, so He will 'skip over' the letter 'vav' (I told you it was Kabbalistic) in the Ineffable Name, which corresponds with human choice--and redeem the Jewish People, regardless of the fact that they may not be 'refined' nor ready, from all the centuries living among the nations in galut, in exile. Because we surely, as a people, do not seem to be going in the right direction of standing up for our heritage and birthright, of confronting Islamic Jihad terrorism (omigawd I said it!) and the threat against the State of Israel head on, with force.
So even if we choose poorly, or don't choose at all: this Torah gives us hope; G-d will come, finally, and redeem us anyway, even if it is the hard way.