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    Past & future redemption

    Exodus Egypt Israelites Crossing Red SeaThe Jewish calendar derives its days, weeks and years from creation and its months from the Exodus: “This month (Nisan, the month of redemption) shall be to you the first of the months” (Ex. 12:1).

    It is months that record the events of history. Our first event as a distinctive people was Pesach, and hence its month, Nisan, begins our list of months.

    But the celebration is not merely an act of identification with the past, but an act of faith in the future. There is Pesach Mitzrayim, the Egyptian Passover – and there will one day be Pesach L’Atid, the Passover of the future, also in Nisan.

    What brought about the historic Passover?

    Not simply God’s pity on our ancestors, but, according to the sages, the piety and loyalty of the women, who maintained the people’s morale and hope (Sotah 11b). And the Passover of the Future depends on Jewish women ensuring we do not lose our way as Jews but remain firm in our Jewish identity and commitment.

    That is why women’s participation in every possible aspect of Jewish life is so important.

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