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AND NOW TO THE RESCUE

 

 "Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his kinsman. Moses turned this way and that and seeing no one about he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." Exodus 2:11-13

 

With this encounter the process of rescue begins. Moses feels, for the first time, what it's like to rescue someone else. What Moses does for that one slave he will end up doing for an entire people. He rides or strides to the rescue.  Anyone who finds himself in enough physical or emotional danger knows what it feels like to be in need of rescue. 

 

Otis Orth is 52 years old and he lives in Alaska. Otis not only loves Alaska, he loves to snowmobile. One day Otis took his dog Amber, a Golden Retriever, out with him to snowmobile. Before he knew it, he was caught in an avalanche and found himself almost buried alive and in desperate need of being rescued. Deep down he knew that he would never survive the night buried in the snow. Otis was certain that he had reached the end of his days. He was all alone, with Amber as his only companion. It wasn't long before Otis slipped into unconsciousness. But before he blanked out, he said goodbye to his life.

 

Much to his amazement, Otis opened his eyes as the sun rose. It took him a moment before he realized that he was in fact still alive. How could he have possibly survived the freezing temperatures of the previous night? It did not take long for Otis to realize that his dog Amber had spent the night huddled next to him, giving him just enough body warmth to survive the night. As Otis reached over to hug Amber, out of nowhere the dog bolted. In no time at all Otis lost sight of Amber. It turns out that Amber had seen and heard a rescue party. Technically speaking it was the rescue party that rescued Otis. But we all know that it was Amber who had played the role of Moses.

 

One of the powerful messages of Passover is that there comes a point in all of our lives in which we need to either rescue ourselves or be rescued. We may not need to be rescued from an avalanche of snow, but it is entirely possible and plausible that we may all need to be rescued from an avalanche of worries and problems that threaten to enslave us.   

       

So if you need rescuing, start with yourself. Figure out a way to free yourself from that which is enslaving you. But if by some chance you are impossibly stuck in a pile of your own problems, then remember what one of the wisest people I ever knew(my grandmother) once taught me, - if you don't ask, you don't get. Sometimes if we ask with sincerity and passion, we may be amazed by all the rescuers who will appear.

         

Our rescuers may be a Moses or an Amber. He may even be us.          

 

Passover is all about remembering what it feels like to rescue ourselves or to be rescued by others. In fact, each one of the Seder's Four Cups of wine/grape juice is a reminder of the four different words of freedom used in the Torah to describe our rescue from the clutches of Pharaoh.          

 

The Torah describes our rescue with these four phrases -          

 

I shall take you.

I shall rescue you.

I shall redeem you.

I shall bring you.

 

So this Passover remember what the Four Cups are about and remember that rescues happen, not only on Passover, but every moment. Happy Passover! .