Fay-Ann Brodie is an alumna of the Wexner Heritage Washington DC 03 group.  She is the owner of FAB Travel in Potomac, MD.  Fay-Ann can be reached at FaBrodie@gmail.com. 

Two texts: 

From the Haggadah: “In every generation it is a person’s duty to regard himself as though he  personally had come out of Egypt, as it is written : “You shall tell your child on that day: This is on the account of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.” 

From the Torah: “and the people of Israel went up “vachamishim” out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus chapter 13):  Vachamishim is sometimes translated as “armed” and sometimes as “one-fifth.” Did only one-fifth of the people leave?  Did as many as one-fifth actually venture out into the harsh desert?

This Pesach I was privileged to live out my own private Pesach dream.

The terrain was hilly, the buses crept slowly round the sharp bends and I sat there thinking:  Fay-Ann, what are you doing ? Why are 117 people following you into the desert to sleep in tents and to live out the notion of “In the footsteps of Moses.” We finally rounded the last corner and there in the middle of the desert, stood a small oasis, our home for the next 48 hours.  I took a deep breath, got off the bus and welcomed my fellow travelers. A dream come true for me, a Seder in the desert. It was an event I had dreamt about, had thought long and hard about. It was an experience like no other. Living out the notion of being in the desert with friends and creating an authentic Biblical atmosphere.

We all “checked in” to our huge tent, grabbed mattresses and prepared for the pre–seder event. It was incredible to witness as families transitioned so easily from the gorgeous luxury of our Tel Aviv hotel to a simple Bedouin tent. My dream of a Seder in the desert was slowly becoming a reality in front of my very own eyes. Everyone was so excited, you could feel the energy in the blue desert skies and the ever-barren rocky ground.

Yes, the Seder itself was magnificent – the setting so special and the participation great. But for me and for all the participants, it was an experience of “being there”, being “armed” with the richness of our tradition and understanding, for just a moment, what courage our ancestors had to venture out. We live in awe of their courage, reflected in our own experience in the desert on Pesach. Undefined, but rich in opportunity.