#PesachPrep T minus 3 Days: Remember

The word Zachor “Remember”, gets a lot of attention in Jewish life.  Someone is always telling us to remember something.  Many Siddurim list, in the pages after Shacharis, six or more things the Torah commands us to remember.  Last month, Purim themes monopolized our Zachor strength.
Now Pesach takes center stage in the Zachor department.  We think of Zachor as the daily remembrance of the Exodus, while Pesach usually get associated with the word “Hagada”.
But according to the Rambam, the verse that serves as the source for the Mitzvah of telling the Exodus story at the Seder is not the familiar “V’higadeta l’vincha” (Ex. 13:8)  “And you shall tell your son on that day…”.
Rather, the Rambam quotes the less specific “Remember the day you left Egypt.” (Shemos/Exodus 13:3)  and only uses V’higadeta to qualify the first line.  Why doesn’t the V’higadeta line cover all our bases?
Because telling the story is not the goal, it is the method we should use to accomplish the goal. What is the goal? Remembering, bringing an idea to the fore, which is the real definition of memory.  Memory is an amazing act of sifting through millions of data points, selecting the ones that we want to make a difference.
A few years ago, two members of a family told me about a large family gathering they had both attended.  Person A told me about something funny that had happened. Person B told me about something that happened five minutes after the funny event that upset him.  Each person acknowledged that the other event had occurred.  Nobody disputed any of the facts.  The Zikaron was different in each one.
How will we use the power of memory to shape our sense of life?  And since, sadly, there is a huge iceberg of subconscious memory beneath the tip-of-the-iceberg of our conscious memories, what are we doing to impact the Zikaron of our spouses, children, students, friends? When children remember Pesach, what will they remember?  The Seder, of course.  But also the days before the Seder, and the whole week.

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