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Jewish Holidays

Hotter Than Fire

June 29, 2006, by

The ultimate purpose of the ten plagues was: “In order that you should tell your son and grandson…” For if the purpose of the plagues was simply in order that Pharaoh should let free B’nei Yisroel, HaShem could have immediately brought number ten, the slaying of the first born, and Pharaoh would have conceded. Thus […]

A Three Days’ Journey in the Desert

June 29, 2006, by

“I declare that I will bring you out of the wretchedness of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Yebusites-to a land flowing with milk and honey…. You and the elders cf Israel will then go to the King of Egypt. You must tell him, Hashem, God of the Hebrews, revealed Himself […]

What are We Celebrating on Pesach?

June 29, 2006, by

The answer seems easy enough; on Pesach we should thank God for taking us out of Egyptian slavery and for choosing us to be his partner in the world. A most joyous holiday, we should avoid depressing reminders of our past. To tell the truth, this suggestion is the very opposite of that which our […]

When was the Exodus?

June 29, 2006, by

The author contends that the most important event in Jewish history has been occupying the wrong slot in the accepted archaeological timeline. “And Moses said unto the people: Do not fear! Stand and see the deliverance of Hashem which he shall do for you this day. For as you have seen Egypt this, day, never […]

A Time of Dance

June 29, 2006, by

“Eis rekod” – “a time of dance” (Koheles 3:4). The phrase is not “eis lirkod,” “a time to dance,” as with the others, but “a time of dance,” for when one achieves true inner joy, es tantzt zich alein – “the dancing comes of its own.” “Elokim motzi asirim b’kosharos” – God brings out prisoners […]

Shabbat Chol Hamoed

June 29, 2006, by

The morning Torah reading of Shabbat Chol HaMoed consists of selected portions from Parshas Ki Sisa. The conclusion of the kriah summarily addresses the Shalosh Regalim, and this would seem to be the relevance of the reading to the day. However, the first six aliyos have nothing to do with Yom Tov; rather, they deal […]

Magid: Avadim Hayinu, Dayenu, and Hallel

June 29, 2006, by

The Haggadah’s narrative of “Avadim Hayinu” states, “And had the Holy One not taken us out of Egypt, then we, our children and grandchildren would still be slaves to Pharaoh…” What does this mean? Even if the Exodus had not occurred, how can we attest that we surely would still be enslaved to Egyptian monarchy? […]

The Inner Meaning of Matzah

June 29, 2006, by

“Anyone who eats chametz, that individual will be cut off from the Jewish people” (Shemos 12:15). Why is Matzah so basic to the celebration of Passover? Why is Passover called by the Torah and in the Siddur, the holiday of matzos? Why is this simple food a foundation of Jewish experience and ideology? Why has […]

Pesach: Birth and Rebirth

June 29, 2006, by

Two unique moments of high emotional intensity punctuate the Jewish year, Neilah on Yom Kippur and Kiddush at the beginning of the Passover Seder. To the spiritually sensitive person no other moments of the year compare to these special experiences in sheer depth and overwhelming emotion. Each of these moments arrives after we have invested […]

Pesach Insights from Parshat Yitro

June 29, 2006, by

“You are My Witnesses” The “Aseret HaDibrot,” the Ten Utterances, or Commandments, of G-d to the Jewish People, begin “Anochi Hashem Elokecha Asher Hotzaticha MeiEretz Mitzrayim Mi’Beit Avadim”, “I am the L-rd your G-d, Who brought you forth from the Land of Egypt, from the House of Bondage.” A famous question is asked, “Why did […]

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