Ever since I was a tiny child I have longed to be Jewish during certain times of the year. Sitting on the dark wooden pew, I would gaze up at the altar and listen as the priest delivered his sermon. I always loved the story about Moses. How he was found as a baby, raised in the Pharaoh's household like a prince, only to discover that he was not related to them at all. Moses had a lot of courage, because soon he was encouraging the Hebrew slaves, his people, to dream about freedom.
"Being a huge admirer of Jesus, I often tried to envision Him partaking in the traditional dinners and coming of age celebrations." I learned about the plagues Moses told would come to Egypt and how the Pharaoh's son would fight against Moses. You have to understand that while the old Pharaoh was all-powerful in Egypt, he still loved Moses, as well as feeling betrayed by him. The Pharaoh's son, Ramses, was a harsh ruler and he defied Moses's authority as the Hebrews' leader.
I waited, hands on my lap, knowing what was coming next. Moses told his friends to sacrifice a newborn lamb, take some of the blood and place a mark above their doors. Scary but exciting story for a little kid. I sat completely still which was unusual for me at that age. Moses said that all the first-born sons would die that night, unless they did as he told them to. The Hebrews listened, but the Egyptians did not. Ramses's son died, as did all the Egyptian first-born sons. God protected the faithful Hebrews, and their children were spared death that night. The feast of Passover commemorates this night.
Well, we know what happened after that. God parted the Red Sea and Moses led his people across the desert, received the Ten Commandments and they wandered the dessert for forty years, for their lack of faith. Eventually Moses brought them to the promised land but sadly, he didn't get to go there with them.
With the fast approach of Holy Week and Easter, I also like to dwell on Passover, by recalling how my ancestors were walking in faith by following Moses, to exit Egypt (Exodus) and become free people. I love my Old Testament Hebrew Ancestors and all of their traditional customs, the way they celebrate their meals. And, while I love being Catholic, I would also love to be Jewish, too.