The way we practice Pardes is by picking a random sentence from the text and then applying these four steps to see what is revealed. Our sentence this time was from chapter 4 when Ron Weasley makes a comment to Harry Potter while they were on the Hogwarts Express about Neville Longbottom and his lost toad, Trevor. Ron turns to Harry and says, “Don’t know why he’s so bothered.” [about his lost toad].
In step three, D’rash, we were invited to wonder, if we were asked to preach a sermon on this sentence, what would we say? Knowing that we were approaching Palm Sunday, I immediately thought to myself, “Why did Jesus bother?” “Why did he bother to live, love, and lead as he did?” “What was the point?”
Holy Week invites us to dig deep into those questions. Every year we approach this week, knowing full well what will happen by the end of it. Have you ever asked yourself in any of the years past, why did Jesus do it? This isn’t the first year I’ve wondered about that question, and I doubt it will be the last. This practice of wondering is at the heart of the ancient practice of Midrash. Midrash is the art of conversation with our spirit and with the sacred text and story.