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Who could have imagined back in 2010 that my experience of being alone for Passover might, because of a world-wide pandemic, be shared by thousands if not millions of Jews around the world in 2021?
The Hebrew’s journey of slavery, longing for freedom, facing Pharaoh’s oppression, facing physical obstacles and collective fears, and our ultimate liberation, has resonated and inspired people all over the globe. Our Jewish teachings inform us that G-d commands us to re-experience this coming out of Egypt as a personal and present journey each and every year. The Haggadah (order of the Seder) is constructed to pass on this teaching to our children. When asked why we abstain from and observe certain practices during the Passover Holy Days, and why we repeat the story of Exodus over and over again, parents respond “Because of that which YHWH did for me when I went out of Egypt,” emphasizing the “me,” and thereby personalizing the experience for ourselves and our children.
Currently, the Black Lives Matter, Me Too, LGBTQIA movements, the plight of immigrants and other struggles for freedom around the globe, remind us of the importance of learning about, having empathy for and taking personal responsibility for the oppression of others. This consciousness requires that we take action on behalf of all oppressed people.
We, as Jews, have a responsibility for tikkun olam, to repair or mend the world. Although we can never truly know the depth of another’s experience, it is incumbent upon us identify with that experience, to take actions not to perpetuate suffering, and to do our part to actively alleviate that suffering, because no one is free until we all are free. This commitment for repair is shared by People of Faith and by the concepts of humanitarianism and many other teachings. But how do we tap into empathy? How do we personalize another’s experience? This question is answered by the now famous poem written in 1895 by Mary T. Lathrap, an American poet, preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, temperance reformer, and suffragist, entitled, “Judge Softly” or “Walk a Mile in His Moccasins”:
Just walk a mile in his moccasins
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse.
If just for one hour, you could find a way
To see through his eyes, instead of your own muse
I offer, here, a glimpse into my personal Passover story — my walk towards freedom — I hope it will inspire yours.
Que Será, Será website: https://punjabbed.wixsite.com/queserasera
Facebook Artist page: https://www.facebook.com/ArtistSoulSpeaks
Facebook Zelda's Happenings page: https://www.facebook.com/zeldashappenings
Body Breathing Healing Website:http://body-breathing.squarespace.com
Artist website: http://zamo-zamo.com/sticks_and_stones/index.html
Zelda (aka Judith Z. Miller) is a multifaceted artist: performer, producer, visual artist, percussionist, workshop leader and healer who lives in an erotic, musical, spiritual universe. As a feminist Jew who studies shamanism, she is inspired by the beauty of nature and the guiding force of her intuition as she explores the themes of connection to the Earth, spirituality, sexuality and gender via a variety of art forms.
"Fantastic Judith. Thank you. I've passed it on to those who might relate.”
“This is so beautiful and powerful!!!! Thank you for sharing Zelda!!!”
“This is wonderful and inspiring thanks for posting...true warrior spirit.”
“What a beautiful video. Listening to your reenactment, I closed my eyes... and then I was right there too."
“That was beautiful and so moving. I've been in a place for what feels like forever and those words touched me and helped me see that even with an ocean in front of me, there is hope in moving forward. Thank you so much. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
“Thanks for sharing. I need a little fire in my soul right now. I'll try not to look back, too.”
“WOW! Zelda, you are amazing and powerful. Thanks for this piece.”
“Yashir Koach... Nice one, Zelda!”
“I just watched your Passover piece. Wow! Wow! Wow!!!!!!! It is so so so so beautiful and deep and powerful. Very very moving and real. You are a gifted performer and an incredible deep teacher. Thank YOU!”
“You tell great stories. So dramatic! Your deep experience.”