December 19, 2018 |

Pesach

Running Out of Time

The Shulchan Aruch (458) records that it is a custom to bake matzah specifically on the afternoon of the eve of Pesach. The reason is because that is the time when the Paschal lamb was offered and so it is a custom to bake the matzah at that exact time; as you may know by now, our synagogue baked...

Blood on the Doorposts

In 1940, Winston Churchill, upon his first entrance to the House of Commons as Prime Minister, made one of the most stirring calls-to-arms in history. In an attempt to rally Britain against the threat of Nazi Germany, he said: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.We have...

And So It Was, At The Stroke of Midnight

We read in the Hagaddah (and in Parshat Bo), that Makat Bechorot (the plague known as the Death of the Firstborn) happened "bachatzi halaila", or roughly translated, "at the stroke of midnight". Not "be'emtza halayla" (meaning in the middle of the night") or "balaila" (meaning "at night"), but...

Seder Tidbits Part 3

SHULCHAN ORECH All festival days are characterized by a meal (a se'udat mitzva) celebrating the day and its sanctity. At these meals, we make kiddush over wine, wash hands and make a blessing over a double portion of bread (matza on Pesach), eat meat and fine foods and say the birkat ha-mazon...

Seder Tidbits Part 2

This week, we continue our seder tour. I hope these insights will help you prepare for yours! MAGGID "Maggid" literally means "the one who tells." Most of the previous actions -- washing without a blessing, eating the karpas and dipping it in salt water, breaking the middle matza and hiding the...

Seder Tidbits Part 1

In 21st century America, it is no secret that the majority of Jews are deeply assimilated. By assimilated, I mean that they have chosen to identify and associate with 'American' modes of thought and behavior, rather than Jewish ones, and that they have done so willingly. The consequences of this...

A Pre-Seder Pesach Prayer

Blessed be all those who attended to the logistics that make a Seder possible, especially, the women who, for centuries, did it all by themselves. Because making the home ready for Pesach includes: Cleaning the house, including closets and windows; Getting clothes for everyone in the family and...

A Pesach Poem: "Thank You, God, for Chametz"

When I slither on my belly with my children, looking for the Chametz I myself hid, I am aware that deep ritual involves both gravitas and silliness. When I stand with my family, watching the Chametz burn, I am transported. I smell, I feel, my sacrifice burning. When I recite the Aramaic...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Chol Hamoed Pesach

For Chol Hamoed Pesach Shabbat we read of God permitting Moses to see His "back." A question the Midrash asks is what did Moses see when he saw God's back? And the answer given is, the back of His head tefillin. If you look at the An'im Z'mirot one verse reads, "The knot of God's tefillin shown...

My video divrei Torah on Pesah by Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ipembuHx4 shir hashirim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRaBc-WjFLE songs seder plate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYfOHBK-OoU Haftarah day 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3P-Vu2x2Ck Is the exodus...

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