the nytimes reported “like millions of his constituents across texas, senator ted cruz had a frigid home without electricity this week amid the state’s power crisis. but unlike most, mr. cruz got out, fleeing houston and hopping a wednesday afternoon flight to cancún with his family for a respite at a luxury resort.”
question: why are people upset over this?
going back in time, another politician famously said “i feel your pain.” yes. we like our leaders to feel our pain. one’s ability to feel another’s pain leads to the possibility of their ability to understand other’s feelings , beliefs, needs and desires. we want to be understood. we want our leaders to take care of us.
god, of course, is brilliant. he wanted the jewish people eternally to understand the slavery’s hardship and the freedom’s joy. he wanted to ensure that his people would never get disconnected from their past.
all jews, leaders included, have been commanded to participate in the passover holiday. the passover seder involves the retelling of the story of bondage. the passover seder’s participants share eating various foods which serve as reminders of this suffering. there are foods to symbolize salty tears of slavery as well as its bitterness. the seder’s headline food, of course, is the bread of affliction, the matzah.
matzah symbolizes the unleavened bread that the jews took out of egypt when the hurriedly left. the bread was unable to rise. thus, a flatbread became the staple and a symbol. matzah is essentially a cracker made of flour and water.
prolonged eating of matzah is not a treasured experience. processing matzah though one’s body can be difficult. this difficulty operates as another reminder of the suffering of those who left egypt.
as noted, “we observe the laws of the holy festival, the festival of matzot [pesach] throughout the generations, and the influence of redemption returns and reappears on this night. the illumination continues through all the days of the festival, the festival of eternal freedom. (ma’amrei hara’ayah, page 160) each individual must feel his own part in the completion of his own generation that is a result of the exodus from egypt. (olat ra’ayah, volume II, page 283) yeshiva
in passover and the seder, god institutionally ensured that jewish people generationally would both both to feel pain of bondage and the celebration of freedom.
thus, a lesson in leadership is to “feel the pain” of your constituency. further, leaders should “feel the joy” as well. when a leader “feels the joy” of their constituency, it is possibly a validation of a job well done.
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