A New Take On The Four Passover Questions
In just a few days, Jews all over the world will participate in the Passover Seder. We will read from the same text, engage in many of the same rituals. Yet each Seder is unique. Every family brings its own traditions to the Seder, how they prepare, who hosts, who takes the lead, and who will clean up the next morning after only a few hours of sleep.
Individually, our Seder experience changes year to year. It is quite amazing how I can read the same story over and over again, yet each repetition highlights different aspects of the story depending on what’s going on in my life at the time. Perhaps this is why we are directed to read this story annually. We are challenged to find new meaning and garner new strength to guide us along the varying milestones of the journey, bringing us out of uncertainty to seder (order).
I imagine that for those of you, like me, who have a family history of cancer, you may relate to those Jews who were debating whether or not to leave Egypt. “Is this a journey that is necessary for me to take or will I be safe enough here?”
For those of you who are diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer, perhaps you connect with the people who felt rushed to make a decision with limited information and time to prepare as they embarked on their journey to the unknown. “I know that my well-being is in jeopardy in this moment. I am tired. I am scared. How should I push forward?”
Many people who left Egypt survived the splitting of the sea, wandering in the wilderness, and the anticipation of the journey into Canaan, wondered about the challenges ahead. Perhaps their story resonates with those of you who are post-treatment. “I am in awe of everything that I have survived to this point. I have learned so much about myself and my family and friends, but there is that little voice whispering in my ear, what lies ahead for me?”
Family members who have a loved one living with breast or ovarian cancer may relate to Moses’ family, who played an active role in the Passover story. “How can I best support my loved one?”
These Four Questions are just a sampling of the questions we hear at Sharsheret on a daily basis. We receive calls from women differing in age and cultural background. Women call us at varying junctures along their breast cancer or ovarian cancer journeys. Although each individual and each family will have a unique approach to coping and navigating this journey, Sharsheret is here to help provide seder (order), to share information, and to offer support along the way. As you continue to revisit the Passover story, we encourage you to revisit Sharsheret along your journey. Here you will find renewed meaning and renewed hope.