Rabbi Gold's Blog
Do You Remember the Days of Slavery?
Here’s a beautiful passage from my family’s Haggadah:
“Every year, hundreds of giant green sea turtles swim hundreds of miles from their natural habitat on the Brazilian coast to tiny Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean in order to mate. For years, researcher and pioneer conservation biologist Archie Carr tried to understand how the turtles found their way to the island from so great a distance, when even airplanes had trouble locating it. Carr’s conclusions were fascinating: he claimed that the turtles navigate using genetic memory. Millions of years ago, when a strip of land bisected the Atlantic, the journey from Brazil to the closest stretch of the eastern shore was only a short swim.
“That land was submerged millions of years ago. But the turtles, driven by their genetic memory, still search and find the last remaining remnant of the world that disappeared into the ocean – Ascension Island. Every year they return to perpetuate the species and the memory.” (A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices, Mishael Zion & Noam Zion, 2007)
So it is with the Jewish people. A genetic marker carries us back in time to that narrow place of constriction where we were once enslaved, and where we gestated as a people. Like a beacon, that same marker guides us towards a Place Called Home.