Nissan Is About Freedom!
This month, we get redemption squared — vibrant new life in the new year and the fantastical story of our ancestors road to freedom, commemorated with the most commonly observed and radically experiential holiday on the Jewish calendar — Passover!
Remember those tiny seeds you planted during Shevat? Remember how you tended them lovingly, all month long in the spiritual underground? And then, during the next month of Adar, how you gave them sunshine, and water, and joy? This month, those seeds shoot into bloom in all their new, green, freedom-charged glory.
Passover is Judaism’s dramatic blockbuster. Infanticide! Blood rivers! An 11th hour parting of a sea! And the Passover seder is Judaism’s ultimate experience of radical storytelling, playing wildly with form and encouraging us to lose ourselves in the story as we pour wine with a joyfully heavy hand.
By reenacting the Israelite’s dramatic escape to freedom in an elaborate dinner ritual, Passover makes sure we engage all five of our senses. Why? Because on Passover, we’re meant to remember that we left Egypt personally.
That we walked with wonder through the miraculously parted Sea of Reeds personally. And that we were there to receive Divine teaching in the desert personally. Through song and ritual and food and praise and even running wild through the house trying to find the Afikomen, Passover invites expansive freedom into our bodies, souls, and communities.
Since we Jews follow a lunar and solar calendar system, it makes sense that this sense of expansiveness and freedom matches up with the Spring. Passover and the energy of Nissan propel us to this free version of ourselves and sync us to the rhythms of Momma Earth.
The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzrayim, literal translation: “straits” or “narrow places.” This poetic naming emphasizes that now is time to leave behind the places that smush our spirits. During Nissan, we burst vibrantly open and become our highest selves.