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Rabbi Leiby Burnham

Bittersweet: The Sweetest Marror

March 25, 2009, by

When I was growing up, my Zeidy was the king of our Seder. His afikomen was by far the hardest to steal, actually nearly impossible, because he “hid” it in his jacket and guarded it with his life. But what gave him the crown was the fact that he ate freshly grated horseradish as his marror, bitter […]

Persia, 369 BCE – 355 BCE

March 5, 2009, by

Miriam nervously stirred the pot of overcooked lentils, as she watched Shmuel putting on his finest silk robe. “Don’t you think there is something wrong with you going to a party that celebrates our people’s downfall? Some king thinks our exile has gone beyond its prescribed seventy year limit, he throws a party to show […]

As the City Burned

August 7, 2008, by

The following story is true, however the names and details have been fictionalized. The pounding in Shlomo’s head wouldn’t stop, but it was easily drowned out by the pain in his heart. The city lay in flaming ruins; human corpses were lying all around him, rotting in the searing midday sun. He hadn’t eaten anything […]

Take the Lead

June 5, 2008, by

Shavuot is just around the corner, and most of us are trying to remember what it is exactly that we are supposed to gain from the holiday. We know that it commemorates the day the Torah was given to the Jews on Mt. Sinai, but that is where we go blank. On Pesach we recreate […]

Make Your Sheep Count!

April 17, 2008, by

What is unique about sheep? They play a prominent role in the Pesach story and its commemorative commandments. Starting back in Egypt, G-d tells Moshe that each Jewish family should take a sheep and keep it in their care for four days before offering it as a sacrifice on the night of the Exodus. The […]

20 Things I Love About Israel

September 25, 2007, by

1. Being able to speak to G-d on a local call. There is simply no place in the world, with the palpable sanctity of the Kotel, Home of G-d. 2. The fact that Israel, like G-d, gives the Right of Return to all Jews regardless of background, denomination, race, ethnicity, or economic strata. 3. The […]

The Borders of Egypt

March 29, 2007, by

In a few nights we will be sitting around our Seder tables drinking copious amounts of wine or grape juice and eating fragile, dry matzos with a smattering of horseradish or lettuce. We will have a beautiful table surrounded by family and guests dressed in their festive best. The highlight of the evening will undoubtedly […]

A Fresh Passover

March 21, 2007, by

As Pesach draws closer, we get more and more engrossed in our “Pesach cleaning.” The Torah prohibits us from having any form of chametz (leaven) in our homes on Pesach and, as a result, we diligently clean our homes of any last remnant of leaven. Chametz is fermented dough, i.e. dough that has been left […]