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Pesach '96

The Aged Wine of Judaism

Every year, the same Pesach themes emerge. They bear repetition: new meaning emanates from engaging discussion. Just like old wine -- the taste improves with age -- so, too, the ever-enduring concepts and ideals of Judaism produce more delicious sensations with each passing year. Our mental taste- buds will rejoice with spiritual exultation if we only allow them freedom to consider in an undisturbed and unpressured setting.

The "pressure and disturbance" of a cynical, all-knowing society must be put aside: the disbeliever is not permitted to partake of the Pesach-lamb, just as the uncircumcised is not permitted. In Egypt, all the Israelites had to accept Moshe's authority and be circumcised. Someone who did not believe would not have the benefit of the "passover" -- G-d passing over the houses of the Israelites at the death of the firstborn -- and would be left behind. As the Hagadah mentions regarding the "wicked son:" 'if he had been there, he would not have been redeemed.'

Pesach, Matza and Morror

The Meshech Chochmah (Parshas Beha'aloscha) shows how the sacrifice of the lamb known as the Pesach represented breaking away from idolatry. Several times in history, special Pesach sacrifices were made, not because of the holiday, but as a sign of renewing the faith of Judaism and turning away from idolatrous habit.

Even today, there are commentaries who maintain that it is forbidden to give matza and morror/bitter herb to a disbeliever (See Birkas Raphael ch. 65). The Derech Pikudecha holds that the matza of afikomon should not be given to a disbeliever because it commemorates the Pesach lamb (ibid).

Imagine arriving at a fabulous Pesach Seder banquet and being told that you would have to renounce your lifesyle and go under the knife!

"And I said: 'by your blood shall you live,' and I said: 'by your blood shall you live.' " (Ezekiel 16:6) "Just as Israel was redeemed because of the blood of the lamb and the blood of the circumcision, so, too, in the future, they will be redeemed by the blood of the lamb and the blood of the circumcision." (Pirke D'Rebbe Eliezer ch.29).

Rabban Gamliel, near the end of the Hagadah, states that the death of the firstborn at midnight, was accompanied by a revelation of the Divine Presence. It happened at one moment -- so swiftly that the dough did not have time to rise.

May each year bring a renewal of the agreement to abide by Jewish practices, and a fresh taste of the revelation -- at the moment of renewed freedom!


 
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ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

“Letter to my Son Akiva” (born 10 years ago, on Erev LAG B’OMER)
Jon Erlbaum - 5771

A Count of Anticipation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Sea the Miracle
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Early Emancipation and Sour Grapes
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Thanks for Everything
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

ArtScroll

The Questioning Defense
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5764

The Students of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

“Letter to my Son Akiva”
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

> Significance of the Omer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

The Real Us!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The Passover Order
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Break Free!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Out of Order
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

The Great Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Cyclical Celebrations
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5762



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