Those miraculous historical evidences of hope must give to each of us enduring hope that our personal trials will yield to a divinely ordained hope as we progress on our spiritual journeys to the God of hope. I know that for many, the essential gifts of religion are laws and customs and creeds, but for me the greatest gift of faith is hope. May your burdens be lifted by hope and may you never despair that you will live out your days in the House of Bondage. Sinai and the road to Damascus await you and the sun will shine again on your burdened life.
Passover and Easter both teach us to treasure our families as the fundamental building blocks of faith. Beyond the communal prayers in church and synagogue, these holidays give us the impetus to gather in our homes with those we love — not just families but also dear friends for old and beloved customs and menus and the deep feeling that we are knit up in the fabric of family and friendship.