Leaving Egypt

Leaving Egypt by Marc Chagall

My blogging friend Alden Solovy offers us this prayer and these words of introduction:
"Leaving Egypt" is the quintessential Jewish metaphor for the road to freedom. Leaving is only the beginning of that road. Leaving Egypt behind, leaving slavery behind, is much more difficult.
I believe that many of us will understand the slavery of which Alden writes here (to grief, loss, fear, anger, shame) and the choice God offers us to live in a tyranny of our own making or freeing our hearts to love...
Egypt Inside

This I confess to myself:
I have taken Egypt with me.
I’ve kept myself a slave to grief and loss,
Fear and anger and shame.
I have set myself up as task master,
Driving my own work beyond the limits
Of reasonable time and common sense.
I’ve seen miracles from heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
And still wait for the heavens to speak.
God of redemption,
With Your love and guiding hand leaving Egypt is easy.
Leaving Egypt behind is a struggle.
In Your wisdom You have given me this choice:
To live in a tyranny of my own making,
Or to set my heart free to love You,
To love Your people,
And to love myself.
God of Freedom, help me to leave Egypt behind,
To hear Your voice,
To accept Your guidance,
And to see the miracles in each new day.
Blessed are You, God of wonder,
You set Your people on the road to redemption.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and To Bend Light


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1 comment:

  1. I was sent this poem today by Fran Szpylczyn as during a Twitter-based back-channel conversation about the Jewish experience of being a Christian.

    More specifically, I was commenting on how those of us raised Jewish always live with Egypt, Spain during the Inquisition, Russia during the pogroms, and Europe during the Nazi era as a subtext, which is why anything that recalls those times of authoritarian oppression is scary. Letting go of Egypt -- in any form -- is very difficult. With God, all things are possible? That's the hope and prayer.


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