A Theme for the Seder

The Passover Seder is one of the most commonly-observed Jewish rituals today. People who neglect lighting candles in honor of Shabbos, or fasting for Yom Kippur, will gather around the table on Passover to retell the story of the Exodus. There is clearly something...

When It All Began

The Shabbos preceding Passover is traditionally known as Shabbos HaGadol -- the Great Shabbos. On the 14th of the Jewish month of Nissan, the Jews in Egypt offered and ate the Paschal Lamb at night, before leaving Egypt the following morning. In preparation for that...

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A Chazzan in the Night

This week, besides the regular Torah portion, there is an additional reading called  Parshas HaChodesh, which concerns the Commandment to establish Jewish months according to the cycles of the moon. This is the first Commandment given to the Nation of Israel. The moon...

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Pain and Purpose

The Torah readings of the past two months described in great detail the construction and the sacrificial services in the Tabernacle, the House of G-d. This week's reading brings us to the culmination: it opens with the inaugural services, and G-d’s miraculous fire...

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Do We Need a Queen Esther?

At a pivotal moment in the Purim story, Mordechai asks Queen Esther to appeal to King Achashverosh to annul Haman's genocidal decree. Esther hesitates, because to approach the King without being summoned was an offense punishable by death. Mordechai's response is...

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It’s All in the Delivery

Today is the beginning of the Jewish month of Adar. In Jewish tradition this is a period of joy and celebration — it heralds the holidays of Purim in Adar, followed by Passover during the following month of Nissan. These holidays celebrate the deliverance of the...

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I’ve Got Something Special For You

"I have a great gift in my storehouse!" This is what G-d told the Jewish people when He gave them the Mitzvah of Shabbos, the Commandment to rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week -- the same day G-d Himself chose as His own day of rest after the six days of...

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