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Passover


5760 (1) This Holiday has three names: ‘Chag ha Matzot’ (Holiday of Matzot) is the name given by the Torah. ‘Zman Cherusainu’ (the Time of our freedom) is the name given 1000 yearslater by the men of the Great Assembly (in our prayer books). And, of course, ‘Chag ha Pesach’ the name which is most commonly used (afterthe Pascal goat or lamb sacrificed then).
5760 (2) In the Seder of Pesech, as well as eating Matza and drinking wine, we read aloud a small pamphlet called the Hagadda. It begins by telling about four sons. One son is described as wise, one wicked, one simple and one silent. Each has a different question.
5761 (1) It was well after midnight on the night of Passover, and the great Tzaddik (Holy Man) Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Bredichev had just finished his Passover Seder, according to all the mystical and esoteric principles found in the awesome mystical works of the Ari z’l.
5761 (2) Pesach is Moshe Rabbenu’s holiday. If it weren’t for him there would be no Passover. Moshe was the one who announced the redemption, prepared and inspired the Jews for it, and even personally led them out of exile. Even today the Jews can’t exist without Moshe.
5762 (1) This year is the highest and most powerful Passover in the history of the Jewish people. The Jews are commanded to always "Raise in Holiness" (Brachot 28a and more). Therefore, every Passover, in fact every day, is standing on the "shoulders" of all those before it, making this year's Seder 3314 levels higher than the first Pesach 3314 years ago.
5762 (2) The seventh day of Passover was the final step in the exodus - the Jews crossed the Sea, and the Egyptian army was destroyed. The Torah tells us that after the sea split the people believed in G-d, and Moses His servant.
5763 (1) The holiday of Pesach celebrates the birth of the Jewish people. The Jews in Egypt were likened to a fetus in it's mother's womb (almost completely unconscious of its true identity). And the Exodus can be liked to birth. But what is so special about birth? The real miracle is the development of the parent's seed into a child WITHIN the womb. Birth is nothing more than REVEALING the hidden baby. So why do we make such a big ceremony from Passover? Or about birthdays?
5763 (2) In a few days we will celebrate the holiday of Pesach. Our sages and prophets tell us that this night is supposed to reflect not only on the past but prepare us for the future as well. Namely that just as G-d took us from Egypt through Moses so He will redeem us from our present exile, rebuild the Temple and bring the world to total awareness of G-d (Jewish consciousness) and gather the Jews to Israel through Moshiach.
5764 (1) This Shabbat in continuing the laws of Temple sacrifice we begin with the commandment to have a fire burning continually on the altar. (here 6:6) This Shabbat is also called Shabbat HaGadol, literally 'The Big Shabbat" because of a big miracle that happened in it over 3,300 years ago: All the First-born males in Egypt made war against Pharaoh when he refused to free the Jews and save them from the tenth plague. [Hence the praise, "G-d smote Egypt THROUGH their first-born". (Psalms 136:10)]
5764 (2) Here are a few Chassidic ideas to enliven your Pesach Seder. Pesach contains two seemingly opposite messages. On one hand it is the birthday of the Jewish people. On this day the Jews became Sons of G-d (see Exodus 4:22). In other words they went out and became separate not only from Egypt (Y'tziat Mitzraim) and the other nations but from the entire creation (!) to become part of the Creator.
5764 (3) Shevei Shel Pesach was when the Yam Suf split. On that occasion the simplest of Jews saw reveations that even the higest of prophets, Isiah and Ezekel, didn't see: They ALL saw G-d and said "Zeh Kaili V'Anvaihu" THIS is my G-d and I'll praise Him.
5765 Judaism is completely different from all the other religions. And it stems from the fact that the Jewish calendar has TWO 'New Year's': Tishre is the first of the DAYS and Nissan (six months later) is the first of the MONTHS!! The reason for this is explained in a Midrash (Shmot Raba 15:11) "When G-d wanted to create His world he did it in the month of Tishre but when He chose the month of redemption He chose (Nissan)".
5766 (1) This week's section continues the laws of the animal sacrifices adding, among other things, the details of the Korbon Toda - the Thanksgiving Offering. This special offering was not brought anytime but rather only on the four occasions enumerated in Psalm 107: after getting out of prison, crossing a sea, crossing a desert or recovering from a serious disease.
5766 (2) This week millions of Jews throughout the world will be sitting with family and guests around brightly lit, festive tables eating Matzo and bitter herbs, drinking four cups of wine and reminding each other about the miracles G-d did for the Jews.
5767 (1) This week’s section opens with an interesting ‘Holy- Temple’ commandment called Trumat HaDeshen; to remove the ashes of the previous day’s sacrifices from the Altar before beginning the next day’s service. At first glance this is not so clear. First of all, what difference does it make if the altar is cleaned each day or not… and why make it a commandment. Why not just clean it whenever it's necessary.
5767 (2) Passover is not only the birthday of the Jewish people, it is Independence Day for all mankind. Until the day that G-d took the Jews from Egypt there were only two courses in life available; spiritual or physical.
5768 This Shabbat we read Acharei Mot; the section of the Torah that begins by spelling out the Yom Kippur service in the Holy Temple. And immediately after this Shabbat will be the holiday of Pesach (Passover)!
5769 (1) Here are a few Chassidic ideas to enliven your Pesach Seder. Pesach contains two seemingly opposite messages. On one hand it is the birthday of the Jewish people.
5769 (2) A few insights for a Profoundly Exiting Seder G-d took the Jews out of Egypt but He can't take Egypt out of the Jews. That is what this night is about.
5770 A few days before Passover Joey, a non-religious ten year old Israeli child, came home after school to his non-religious home and announced that he wanted to ask a few questions.
5773 Here are a few Chassidic ideas to enliven your Pesach Seder. Pesach is the birthday of the Jewish people.
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