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Dvar Torah - Shabbat Shevi Shel Pesach

When we go on holidays, time passes differently. The days are less differentiated. We get up a bit later. Our time revolves much more around the now, and less around what will happen next. Often, we need to check to know what day of the week or date it is. Pesach is another such lacuna in time. For a week, we are separated from our usual lives, from our usual activities, even from our usual food. Standing at the boundaries of that time are yamim tovim, days when we do not work at all, as if to say: "This is the boundary of your normal life. This time is special."

As we reach the end of this special period, as we reach the end of a week of contemplation of our freedom and of our lucky lives, we begin to feel the pull of the normal drawing us back in. However, before we rejoin the hustle and bustle of the world in full we have one more celebration, and this tie we will be joined by those who have passed. On the final day of Pesach, we remember the parting of the Red Sea which happened so long ago on that day. However, we are not celebrating that event. Instead, we are marking the end of our week off, our week of freedom when we choose to do a little less so that we can enjoy ourselves, and revel in all that our tradition has given us.

As we gather in the coming Yom Tov, let's take the time to enjoy each other's company and savour our liberty and the luxury of pleasure. Let's take the time to enjoy the joys that thousands of years of struggle for freedom have bequeathed to us. Above all, let's remember that our lives are extraordinary.

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