Shabbat HaGadol: To Kitniyot or Not?

April 16, 2016   Today is known as “Shabbat HaGadol” because it is the Sabbath before Passover. Because Passover is such an important holiday, with so many regulations and restrictions, and it is so widely celebrated by Jews the world over, the Sabbath preceding it gets special recognition. Unlike the other special shabbatot of the …

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Some Things You Can Discuss at Your Seder this Year

Shabbat HaGadol April 12, 2014   This, the Shabbat before Pesah, is known as Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat. And what a great Shabbat it is – the chance to see and to celebrate a special birthday of a great grandmother and the naming of her great grandchild!  This after all, is part of the …

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Are You A Passover or Purim Jew?

March 23, 2013   Having recently returned from a congregational trip to Krakow, Warsaw, Prague and Berlin, I still have images emblazoned in my head of the infernos of destruction we witnessed, of the towns that were once thriving, teeming centers of Jewish life, and which are now Judenrein, lifeless shells, without any Jews.  Prague …

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What I Will Be Thinking About at the Seder This Year

The invitation at the beginning of the seder inviting all who are hungry to come and eat is an invitation to much more than a dinner invitation to partake in a meal. It is an invitation to participate in the eternal dialogue of what it means to understand and apply the message of Judaism to …

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A New “Mah Nishtana:” Four Questions for Our Time

A Supplement Which You May Use At Your Seder   Bechol haleilot, On all other nights we eat hurried and rushed meals. Haleila hazeh, Tonight we are gathered together as a family without other distractions.   What can we do to strengthen our bonds as a family and to ensure that we focus our attention …

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Passover in Israel @ 60

May 3, 2008   The Torah says that people should make their way by foot to Jerusalem for the three festivals: Pesah, Sukkot and Shavuot. Several centuries later, the Mishnah and then subsequently, the Talmud reiterate and expand upon the mitzvah requiring people to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the holidays.  In fact, those …

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