Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am not a particularly religious Jew, though Passover was always my
favorite holiday growing up, for the familial get together, the food, and
the story. Is there a way that I can address liberation themes in my
own life, without the ritual of Seder?


Dear Lapsed:

Consider a Seder anyhow, because attending will have some impacts
you cannot predict. But it’s more than the historic story. Even those
who attend two Seders may want to know about the meaning of
Passover in our personal lives. I study with a teacher who suggests
also asking these four non-traditional questions. You can see if they
work for you:

Question 1: Ask yourself what your special gifts are in this world. Why
are you here? What do you do for others? Is it your kindness, your
intellect, your willingness to help? Think about what makes you you.
Write it down. Name it and claim it.

Question 2: Ask yourself how those gifts become a problem to you
through overuse. For example, if you’re a giver, have you failed to
learn about boundaries? Pay attention to when you use your gifts in
your daily life, and how you overuse them. Taking notes is good.

Question 3: Ask how you resort to your gifts in time of stress and
difficulty. In a crisis, do you fall back on a core strength but fail to
energize other aspects of yourself? Do you always use your heart
when your head might be more appropriate to a given situation? or the
other way round?

Question 4: Ask yourself how you protect yourself with your gifts. This
question helps you understand how you enslave yourself and prevent
yourself from growing. For example, if you’re always so smart and
rational, do you forget to listen to your heart when it might help more?
Get this far during Passover and see if you feel more liberated