There’s nothing quite like tasting your first warm and crispy baguette after just having finished seven days of eating Passover matzohs.
As I savored every morsel, appreciating the vast difference of baked bread, which took time to rise and develop into this tasty bite, I could better understand the reason that something hastily prepared, like matzohs, without having been given a lot of time and process, ends up being less appealing to your tastebuds.
That was my experience this Sunday morning, the first day real bread was back on the shelves in Israel. But not only were we treated to the glorious bread of freedom, representing our passage from bondage (per the Passover account in Jewish history) but also to the taste of freedom that this new week brought, allowing us to be maskless in enclosed places. While my bread purchase was, indeed, exciting, nothing was quite as liberating as being able to walk maskless into a supermarket for the first time in two full years.
Yes, freedom was on full display today, both in terms of what we were able to eat and how we were able to buy it. As I pondered these two separate but intertwined events, which coincidentally collided with one another, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a greater meaning to them.
As a nation, we, sadly, became familiar with being enslaved to those with greater authority and power who were able to make our lives miserable while taking away the joy of self-governance, freedom and liberty. We are taught that Egypt was a detour on the way to the final destiny of the Jewish people – the Promised Land. However, that detour ended up extending to 400 years of affliction and ultimately full-scale bondage which we still commemorate each year.
The battle for freedom and self-determination wasn’t easy, but having a strong, moral leader who was able to convince his people that something much better awaited them, on the other side of the Red Sea, gave them the needed faith to take the giant leap into the unknown, believing that anything was better than the bitter lives they’d been living.
How similar these events are to our current existence, albeit with a much different time frame and cast of characters, but this whole Covid chapter, which befell us all, was supposed to be contained and no longer than a two-week detour. So how did it end up lasting more than two long, bitter years? In this case, those leading us to the “Promised Land,” were only too happy to heap on us the burden of masks, experimental treatment and ensuing punishment for those who were not meticulously obedient.
And what of those vaccines prepared in haste, much like the tasteless unleavened bread? They, too, had insufficient opportunity for development, proper testing and efficacy as well as informed knowledge as to future consequences. In the end, they never worked as promised, and we are now just beginning to discover that the spike protein, meant to remain in one area, has the ability to move around, cause damage to bodily organs and remain much longer than anticipated. But then couldn’t anyone have predicted that such a vital and massive undertaking, as an mRNA vaccine, developed in haste, would have fallen short of its embellished expectation?
Ironically, now two years on in this morass, we are actually being told that a new and improved vaccine, courtesy of Moderna, being touted as the preferred version, will surely free us from the bondage of future Covid strains (Moderna says redesigned Covid-19 vaccine booster may work better against variants, JPost, 4/24/22).
So as today, April 24, 2022 ushers in the first day of maskless Israelis, being able to breathe the air of freedom indoors, the news of a redesigned vaccine is being offered as the next iteration of subservience which promises freedom from Covid-19 variants. But don’t fall for it!
Arriving at the gates of freedom has been a long and arduous journey, accompanied by many painful and costly deprivations. We’ve lost jobs, respect of friends and family, once meaningful relationships, freedom of movement and much more.
But here we are! Able to walk around maskless, dine at our favorite restaurants, travel without quarantine and almost fully resume where we left off.
But we’re not there yet, and we never may be if some have their way. Dr. Anthony Fauci is enraged that a court would determine his advice to be lesser than what the law has determined to be safe enough conditions which allow for maskless flying. Moderna and other pharmaceutical companies are feverishly planning the next phase of how to keep us and our countries both financially and medically dependent upon them. Not that it has anything to do with the billions they’ve amassed over this two-year pandemic!!! No. They just want to help humanity while, coincidentally, lining their pockets but enjoying immunity from prosecution should anything go wrong.
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More than four thousand years ago, Moses appeared before the Egyptian Pharoah with the message, “Let My People Go.” That same message must be resounded loud and clear by each one of us who now understand the great cost of freedom and all that we have endured to be able to get to a place where we can, once again, recognize one another’s faces.
Shaking off the detours of the past, as well as the newly invented ones which are trying to entice us back into the grip of bondage, is a must unless we want to continue wandering around this same desert for possibly another 40 years!
As for me, I’m going to enjoy another bite of that taste of freedom, as I walk around maskless while eating that delectable baguette, but the real taste of freedom is greater than the one in my palate. It engulfs my whole person – body, soul and spirit. In fact, it’s what we were created to be – free thinking, self-governing, liberty-loving individuals who were made in the image of a God who thought it was best if we choose the right path rather than outsource our choices to others.
On this beautiful spring day, the taste of freedom is in my mouth, in my heart and in my soul, but make no mistake! I will be guarding it with dear life, because going back to the bondage of Egypt is not an option that I’m considering!
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