17 Nisan 5779
2nd Day Chol HaMo'ed - Day 2 of the Omer
In the beginning, everything was mixed up (formless and void). And the Creator set about making seder - order. Three nights ago we sat around our tables and made seder out of the events in our nation's history. By making seder, we emulate our Creator. Making seder requires creating separations. Think of it like sorting laundry - "each thing after its kind."
At Pesach, Hashem made seder by separating one nation from within another nation - He took Am Yisrael out of the midst of Mitzrayim and brought us into the desert where nothing else existed. His goal was to bring us to a land where we would live independently of the other nations and depend entirely upon Him alone.
3,331 years later and all the evidence points to nearly complete assimilation - a complete mixing up of Am Yisrael (even and especially within Eretz Yisrael) with the other nations of the world. This is so whether we are talking about politics, religion, culture or economy. When faced with the extent of our failure to make seder among ourselves, it is both shocking and sickening.
I kept seeing references to "A Lion King Passover." I generally avoid these Yeshiva-type groups of guys who make holiday songs out of mixing Jewish themes with goyishe music - you know the kind of thing Aish HaTorah loves to promote, Maccabeats, etc. But when I saw it in the Jewish Press, I finally gave in and clicked on it.
Just 35 secs into a 5 min video, I had to quickly shut it down. I know I saw that movie when it first came out (1994), but I don't remember the details. I suppose the guys singing Mah Nishtanah to the Lion King theme song were acting out some scene from that movie but when one dipped his finger in a cup of wine and smeared it across the forehead of another, what I saw in my mind was the Catholic priest dipping his finger in ash and making the sign of the cross on a congregant's forehead on Ash Wednesday.
I have never set foot in a Catholic church and have never witnessed such a scene personally (at least not in this lifetime), but the image created such a visceral reaction that I was compelled to just shut it down as fast as I could before I could see what was coming next.
This was supposed to be something nice created by religious Jews as a contribution to the celebration of Passover. It's become a trend among various Orthodox singing groups, but it is one that I have decried for many years as an assimilationist tool that has no place in our nation. How much more so now when the main focus of the holiday is to make a seder?