Ramadan reminds us to show up for community. When we’re fasting, everything becomes a little harder, whether making food or going to a protest. I’m not always as active while I’m fasting. But we continue to show up for each other in sustainable ways. If we are all able to collectively slow down and show up for each other for these thirty days, then we’re able to do that year around.
Passover is a time of stories. We tell the story of the Exodus from slavery to liberation which is a story of leaving where one doesn’t have any say to a place of liberation, freedom and redemption. In the desert, where we had journeyed from Mizraim (that is, Egypt), we have the giving of the Torah, so we weren’t only physically free because of the Exodus story, we are also spiritually free because of the Torah and the 10 Commandments. Those are a way of reminding us that we are here to serve God, God is not here to serve us.
Happy Vaisaakhi! I’m Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, a board member of Faith in Public Life and the Executive Director of Religions for Peace USA. For thousands of years, Vaisaakhi has been celebrated as a time of harvest in the Punjab. For the Sikh community, my own religious community, it commemorates two important events in our history: the birth of Guru Nanak Sahib, the founder of the Sikh faith, and the establishment of the Khalsa, the fraternity of the chosen ones with the formal initiation in the Sikh faith by the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.