Be Creative

May 22, 2024

In sixth grade, I had a purple shirt with the word “Creative” written in bright yellow, funky letters. The back of the shirt had a giant paint stain image, and it was my favorite piece of clothing. Why? Well, it felt creative! Being creative is what separates us from the animal kingdom. Okay, there are definitely a few other things on that list: free will, and the ability to communicate, learn, love, and connect with others. However, regarding creativity,  we have this incredible power to make something from nothing. We can be innovative and make something that changes the world around us. And this ability to create? Why, it’s a God-given gift. There are many places in the Bible that reflect this, from God’s creation of man in His image to the Godly spirit infused into Betzalel (the craftsman of the Tabernacle). But today, I want to highlight a more subtle, innovative scene: the Second Passover. And just how powerful the creation of that celebration truly was. Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “Huh, I thought Passover was celebrated only once!” You’re not wrong…

On the 14th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, exactly one month after the Passover holiday, the Israelites are commanded by God to celebrate a second Passover. This year, in the Gregorian Calendar, it falls on May 22nd. You’re probably thinking – what person would want to clean their kitchen, remove all leavened bread, and eat matzah for eight days a second time – just a month after they already went through those motions? Even for such a lovely holiday as Passover, this feels like a bit much. 

But not to worry – the purpose of the second Passover is quite different.  It stems from a group of Israelites who were Biblically impure during the very first  holiday of Passover and so could not bring the Paschal Offering on time. In a show of devotion, they petitioned God to be able to bring the Paschal offering a month after Passover as a  “do-over” for their missed opportunity. 

This is mind-blowing. So many (many, many!) commandments originate from God. But how many stem from man’s innovation? This commandment, the second Passover, is one of them! And this partnership with God gave us the only commandment “do-over” in the Bible. 

Two chapters later, though, we find a much more disturbing act of creativity, in contrast to the unique Passover commandment. 

Here’s what happened. The riffraff in Israel are complaining. More specifically, they are complaining about the maan, the daily heavenly bread that fell from the sky. They complain that it’s not good enough for them: they want fish, cucumbers, and melons instead. They want a change. No one wants to look at the maan all day long.

In both seemingly unrelated stories, we’re looking at the concept of innovation..

Let me explain. Both the complainers and the Second Passover celebrators had something missing from their lives, and then both of these groups created something new to solve their problems –  they made a change.

The difference, though, isn’t just in the tone of voice the various members of Benei Yisrael used.

It’s in the intention behind what they created.

In the story of the Second Passover, the people wanted to become close to God. They wouldn’t settle for missing out on bringing an offering to God. They saw a lack and created an opportunity. They partnered with God to make something new.

The complainers also felt a lack , and they, too, wanted to make a change. But they chose to make that change by thumbing their noses at God. Rather than speaking with God and expressing their appreciation, they complain – quite obnoxiously, one might add – before trying to strike out on their own. The complainers reject a partnership with God. The Passover celebrators embrace it.

And there is an important lesson for us that can be found here in these contrasting stories.

Our children will never be exactly like us, no matter how similar they look, our shared interests, etc. They are, however, reflections of what we teach them and of how we raise them. And they don’t just reflect: they project their own innovative and unique content as they grow, learn, and mature. 

But boy, seeing them do it differently than we imagined is often hard. What we need to remember, however, is that their individuality can still reflect our values. Hear your voice in their actions. And learn to appreciate that independence can be a form of appreciation and partnership.

Ultimately, that’s one of the greatest gifts we can give our children – the freedom to innovate and create in their own way while providing a stable foundation of values to guide them. When we allow that duality to coexist, we enable the next generation to be creative in the best way. 

The Israel365 Charity Fund is dedicated to strengthening and supporting the people of Israel who need our help. Donate to the Israel365 Charity Fund today.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

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