My semi-corny tagline on this website is “Things can be different.” I chose it because I think it’s a nearly universal feeling among human beings that we wish something or other in our lives weren’t quite the way it is. Part of the avodah of life is getting to a healthier place where we recognize that we really don’t need it to be any other way. “Who is happy? He who is happy with his lot.”
But another part of our job here is to see where we are able to, and therefore expected to, change things for the better. I think the Serenity Prayer used in Alcoholics Anonymous has a lot of chochmah to it:
Part of my role is to help people figure out that difference in whatever circumstances they find themselves, then develop the serenity and the courage to handle those circumstances appropriately and to achieve the change they are capable of.G-d grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And the wisdom to know the difference.
Pesach is a time of change and renewal. There is a special spiritual energy in the world during this time that allows us to jump up spiritual levels beyond what the natural process could do for us – to pass over those intermediate stages. If we reach for it, G-d will give us that special boost, that special vision of what things can really be like. Of course, then comes the Omer, the time where we have to put in the work to make that vision real. But first we can get it as a gift, a free pass.
Because things can be different.