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. This meditation appears in my new book, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.
This I confess:
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 taskmaster,
Driving myself beyond the limits
Of reasonable time and common sense.
I’ve seen miracles from heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
Yet I’ve taken Egypt with me,
Still waiting for the heavens to speak.
G-d of redemption,
With Your loving 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.
G-d 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, G-d of wonder,
You set Your people on the road to redemption.
© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day
Postscript: My book Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings includes 18 readings for Passover. Special thanks to Rabbi Peter Knobel who suggested – among many wonderful ideas for my writing and this site – that I think of holidays as opportunities to write new prayers.
Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo Credit: The National Library of Israel