This Passover (Pesach) Haggadah
represents a process of spiritual exegesis that I have employed as a
vehicle for deepening and healing my relationship with Judaism, my
religion of origin. This process consisted of a radical interpretation
of the Passover rituals and prayers into a language and process that
resonated with my own heart while also attempting to honor the heart of
Judaism itself. Through this technique I have endeavored to heal old
wounds and purge myself of the obstacles between the Divine and myself.
There are three basic levels of text interpretation in the Jewish
tradition: Literal-Biblical, Theoretical-Talmudic, and Mystical-Kabbalistic
(Fishbane, 1998; Kenton, 1980). Literal-Biblical text interpretation
includes the historical, biblical and narrative levels of the material.
Theoretical-Talmudic text interpretation consists of the extrapolation
of the philosophical, ethical, moral and religious doctrines, laws and
teachings that are woven into the fabric of the written material.
Mystical-Kabbalistic text interpretation seeks to unearth the hidden and
concealed metaphysical teachings buried in the text.
On the literal level of interpretation, Passover is a ritualistic
retelling of the story of a historical biblical event, the Israelitesí
exodus from bondage in Egypt. On the theoretical level, the story and
rituals of Passover have many philosophical, ethical, moral and
religious lessons to teach us about human behavior and the human
endeavor to live according to the teachings of the religion of Judaism.
Traditionally, the rituals of Passover, including the Passover Seder,
tend to focus on these two levels of interpretation and understanding.
In the Jewish mystical tradition, Passover can also be seen as a
powerful vehicle for personal and communal psycho-spiritual development.
From the Mystical-Kabbalistic perspective, the Passover story of a
people being freed from the bondage of slavery is transformed into a
road map for how an individual can be freed from the bondage of limited
consciousness (Kenton, 1980); the land of Egypt becomes the realm of
narrowness of body and mind, and Moses becomes the Higher Self being
called upon by the Divine to free all the different voices of the psyche
(the children of Israel, THE AWAKENING SELF*) from the bondage of the
This mystical level of interpretation became my pathway through the
metaphysical gates of these ancient and sacred rites of inner and outer
freedom, and my attempt to integrate all three of these levels of
interpretation, along with the interpretative constructs of the various
denominations of the Judaic tradition, has lead me to the discovery of
this powerful transformative psycho-spiritual Passover experience.
*The phrase, THE AWAKENING
SELF, represents the inner metaphysical dimension of the word ISRAEL.
The word Israel has four dimensions/meanings: Israel is the Hebrew name
given to Jacob in the Torah; Israel is the name given to the Jewish
people and culture as a whole (the Children of Israel); Israel is the
land that is deemed to be the earthly home of the Jewish people; and on
the mystical level of interpretation, Israel is the inner self that
struggles to awaken to its higher nature and itís connection with the