Passover, the annual Jewish celebration of freedom, ends on Friday. The Passover story is of a people liberated from slavery more than 3,000 years ago. And while it is a time of celebration with family, it is also a time to question and contemplate what currently holds us personally in bondage.

Today I would like to share a few Passover questions (inspired by Rabbi S. Buxbaum) you might feel called to reflect upon. Regardless of your religion or spiritual beliefs, these questions can be a potent entry point for some deep personal exploration.

  • Has anything ever happened to you which seemed bitter at the time but later turned out to be sweet?
  • How have the hardships in your life helped you become a better person?
  • In your day-to-day life, do you really love what you do or are you more like a captive to aspects of your life (i.e., work)?
  • What is holding you back the most?
  • What are the gifts in your life that make it all worth it?
  • If you could fully express gratitude to someone in your past who really made a difference in your life, who would it be?

I’d also like to share a traditional Passover recipe with you, one of my favourite seder dishes since childhood, Charoset.  This sweet, fruity dish holds a special, symbolic place as its colour and texture are meant to recall the mortar that the Jews used to bond bricks while enslaved in Egypt. It also reminds us to always look for the sweetness in life.

Charoset is so simple to make and especially delicious the next day after the flavours have soaked into the apples. Mix all ingredients well in a bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Traditionally served with Mazos, but I like it just out of the bowl on its own. 

  • 3 firm apples chopped finely or shredded
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 6 chopped dates or a handful of raisins
  • 1/2 cup good red wine
  • 1 TBS lemon juice

Our life may be full of moments of real and perceived bondage. In those moments, may we all have the opportunity to pause, feel into the sweetness that life also gifts us and allow ourselves to be reminded of the lessons, consciousness and transformation that is waiting to be revealed.