Try This… Again

I don’t know about you, but Passover is hard on me. Hard on my faith. Hard on my marriage too. I can’t seem to make it to Seder night without a resounding chorus of my own low moans of protest. Protest against the toil of it all. The cleaning. The cooking. The taking care of everyone and everything…again. Another round of exhausting rites and ritual, long nights and a few too many fights. I inevitably seem to miss out on G!d along the way.

So I am particularly appreciative of Pesach Sheni. The Second Passover. The Holiday of Second Chances. This is the replay holiday, reserved for those who were unable to partake in the Pascal lamb on time. Exactly one month later, thankfully, we get another chance to tackle this whole freedom march, this time from a place of a little less stress and a lot more perspective.

I always seem to need it. I’m a second-chancer by nature. Doubling down on Pesach Sheni with a vengeance. – If you need it, you can have some second-chance too. It’s this Tuesday night/Wednesday and it’s real easy. Just get out a piece of matza and sit down with whoever you lost along the way. Ask for a second chance; from G!d, your spouse, your self, your friend.

After all, second-chances have their own particular flavor of freedom. It’s richer, more subtle and complex than the first taste could ever have been.

Pesach Sheni

Let’s try this again.
To connect the daats
– to know each other
Biblically, mythically,
with all of our incompletes.

Let’s bring back the mystic,
because I missed-it
a month ago
in all the madness
of the Exodus.
I just flat-out missed it.

I was too bloody
tired
and you
were strained
and the table was painted
with the sweat and toil of slavery
though we played like we were free
for the sake of the children,
didn’t we?
– Masterfully.

We were as distant as
planets spinning
in their usual orbits
– light years between us.

‘Do not worry, we will loop
back around
to eclipse each other again’
– I said.

‘We are like the moon and the sun
that don’t ever really touch
except every once
in a while
on a starry night
one sphere atop another
still so distant
but stacked with precision
in a line of connection
and perfect symmetry.

It is all about our perspective,
isn’t it?
When the M of me stops
gazing down and
turns heavenward instead
to become ‘We’.

Just lift your head.
Come cast your shadow over me.

With nothing but forgiveness
between us
the close flat facts of our connection
plain as any page
of matza reads

You can bring the charoset
for sweetness between us
and I will bring the marror
to memorialize the distance.
We will sandwich them
just like the sages.

Forgive me.
I was lost in my own loss,
my own trauma.
I carried the old bones
of Joseph, you know.

Like a mother who buries
her priestly sons
in silence,
I lost my chance
to celebrate you.
But I won’t lose my chance
to beg forgiveness
and to press with compassion
that eternal reset button
on our friendship.

So let’s try this again.
With no pomp and circumstance.
No children, no guests, no friends.
Just a page of matza
and four open palms
between us.

“And with a strong hand
we were brought out of Egypt.”

You are my Exodus.
My strong hand.
Your forgiveness
is my freedom.
Our love is my holy land.
Let’s leave Egypt
again.