Jumping Ahead

Friday, 2 April, 2021 - 6:04 am

Recently, I had the pleasure of watching my children play football with family.  I saw the ball fly out o the hands of the quarterback and marveled as my son sped ahead to catch up to the ball.  In football, sometimes the quarterback will throw the ball past the current location of the receiver in order that the ball will arrive at the destination at the same time as the receiver does. Throwing ahead is actually throwing on target. It also encourages the receiver to give it his best, knowing that he has to run with precision and speed to make the catch.

As we celebrate Passover, I am reminded of the need to “throw ahead.”

The reason that the festival is called Passover – even though it was but one detail of the Exodus – is because G-d’s passing over the Jewish homes during the Plague of the Firstborn was not merely an act of saving the Jewish firstborns, but a demonstration of the theme of Pesach. Indeed, the entire notion of redeeming the Jewish people, enslaved – in body and spirit – to the might and culture of Egypt, was a quantum leap.

G-d took that leap, investing in the Jewish people, because He believed in them. And He expected them to step up and receive the Torah, dedicate themselves to its ideals and instructions and be a light unto the nations.

As the final days of Passover approach, we shift gears. Instead of looking at balls thrown behind us, we need to look at balls thrown ahead. Passover is not only about the past. It’s also a celebration of the future – especially the last days of Passover. The Mystics teach us that the final two days of Pesach represent the future redemption – the coming of Moshiach.

When Hashem redeemed us from Egypt and gave us the Torah, He tasked us – and imbued us with the capacity – to change this world, for good.

If we are speeding ahead to synchronize ourselves with G-d’s plan, then we have truly internalized the meaning of Pesach.

Ultimately, G-d’s leap was just the beginning. It must be followed by our leap.

With G-d at quarterback, we can confidently leap forward to make the catch.

And, then indeed, we’ll be “Next year in Jerusalem!”

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