In Israel, today is the "Maimouna": a celebration customary in North Africa, where the Jews' Muslim and Christian neighbors made bread for them, since waiting to reestablish their post-Pesach kitchens would have delayed this by another day. I used to love going to the big park in Jerusalem, where members of all the different nationalities, ethnicities and religions gathered to celebrate. I do not know whether this is still taking place with such a feeling of camaraderie and safety as when I wandered the park in the 80's.
Here: Pesach is really over. Last night I lit memorial candles for my parents and for Zalman; today I went to synagogue to say Yizkor, the prayers for our beloved dead.
I was invited to celebrate the last Pesach meal with a local Chabad family---remarkable people in a house always roiling with children of all ages, and visitors from all segments of the community.
And now the sun has gone down.
I could theoretically eat bread again.
Life proceeds from the liberation from slavery towards the receiving of Torah, literally, instruction, fifty days later: how we are to live our lives as free beings. (This is the origin of the term "Pentecost": the counting of those fifty days, which we begin on the second night of Passover.)
Tomorrow I will rearrange the kitchen, put away the special cutlery used for the Seder, retrieve the dishwashing brushes I use during the year, take down the masking tape with which I marked the pantry shelves NOT to touch during Pesach. Put away the Pesach table linen. Store what is left of the matzoh.
This all happens every year, and every year it is the same and different.
I seem to be in greater emotional turmoil this year, feeling challenged to clarify what, of our tradition, is truly intrinsically mine, and what I merely borrowed when my beloved was here.
I feel more lost and pained in regard to these questions now than I have for a long while. I feel things shifting and brewing inside, but the content and the emerging shape are still unclear.
¿How much of my religious practice is truly my own, and how much did I gladly take on in order to partner with my beloved?
I wait to see what shape emerges of a spiritual life that is intrinsic to me.
I feel in some ways unmoored, and in other ways potentially more spacious.
Perhaps that is the perfect condition for these days after liberation from a past condition, and before receiving what my beloved used to call our "marching orders".
Not quite zero gravity; but unsteady and unsettling for sure.