I wore tights and a heavy jacket yesterday. While this in itself doesn’t seem very newsworthy, bear with me a little. It’s not so strange to be wearing layers in the middle of March, especially since this time two years ago was the infamous “Snowpocolypse” that left hundreds of student at The University of Maryland with icy hands after a snowball battle on the campus mall.
Just three weeks ago temperatures all over America skyrocketed and we skipped winter entirely. Wearing short sleeves and sunbathing like we were on summer vacation in Cancun.
But it’s not supposed to be like this. This feels weird. One of the reasons why spring is so enjoyable is because we suffered through a harsh winter. Without the cold snow, we can’t appreciate the sunny skies. Without the heavy coats, we don’t value the light T-shirts.
Basically, we don’t deserve spring without winter. And that is one reason why Passover, our celebration from slavery is in the spring, it’s called Chag Haviv (Holiday of the spring) in the Torah, and not just because it happens to fall out in Nissan. The liberation from Egypt took months, but we recognize it in Nissan, which is usually in March or April.
Much like the fact that we can’t fully realize what warm weather is without cold, as a nation we wouldn’t have been able to appreciate getting the Torah without years of hardship first.
There are no absolutes in this world, only how we perceive things. Happiness and misery are on two sides of the same scale and we measure happiness only compared to how much misery we’ve experienced. The harder we have it now, the better it will seem when we’ve gotten through the storm.
When we’re gathered around the seder table on Passover, we’ll tell of how our people survived hard times but we’ll also see our friends and family and see how they’re doing with their own troubles and encourage them that things will get better just like it did in Egypt.