We are heading to Seder nights, folks. A time hinting of promises of redemption. At that Seder, the crux of the night is to remember to talk about PESACH, MATZAH and MAROR. If you don’t, you haven’t fulfilled your obligations of the night. Pesach is about G-d saving us. Matzah is the speed in which the miracles unfolded to get us out of that situation. And Maror?! What is that doing here with those two – Maror is a symbol of the bitterness and suffering. Why is that lumped together with Pesach and Matzah…and why does it come last in the order of things?
Well, my friend, it is hard to know that at the time of suffering, but when we get past a crisis, we often do not regret having had to go through that pain. We often feel that the pain and challenges have made us better people, deeper emotional creatures, and able to appreciate the good times that much more. Therefore, after all is said and done, after the redemption of our people, we are thankful for the Maror, too.
Which brings me to this delightful old Yiddish song (sung by a Russian singer) that talks about a lesson a Zeide taught his Jewish grandchild. (Yes, I know, it always goes back to song and dance with me!) The song, (in a nutshell but not an exact translation), says, ‘My grandfather Reb Yisroel told me…they kicked out the Jew from land to land and he took along his fiddle. When the heart hurts he takes “the Yidde’le, his fiddel’le, and plays a liddele/song with a lot of feeling. The fiddel’le tells that life is but a play.” And the fiddle goes on to tell him, “that Simchos [happy occasions] will yet be by the Jews and that the Jews will never disappear.”
“From here to there,” the fiddle goes on speaking from place to place, he carries the song, the Jew in every location.
That is the message, my folks, of the Maror, that even in the bitterest times, we carry the song, knowing we will rejoice again, someday, no matter what. As the song says, “let all our enemies know, Am Yisrael Chai!” We are alive, grateful for all our past challenges, for that is what has forged us into a beautiful people.
Here is the link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WugcDT0VEK0&feature=related
Also, if you want to see this concept explored in modern-day psychology, there is a growing recognition that there is positive growth that comes from trauma. Here is an article that talks about it: