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Are you ready for Pesach?

  • ParshaKievemanShemos
Pesach is steadily approaching. The sights, sounds, and smells of Yom Tov already fill the air of Jewish homes everywhere. Schools have been teaching kids the four questions, shuls are booming with holiday studies, shops’ shelves are stocked with a multitude of fabulous new products, and some lucky guests are booked for The Pesach Retreat.
by Rabbi Ari Kievman, Chabad’s Goodness & Kindness Centre | Apr 04, 2019

The Torah instructs us that in every generation we ought to experience the exodus from Egypt. How can we do so if we’re not slaves today?

When we read our haggadahs this Pesach, let the message not just be one of history, but rather let’s experience it as our story. How do we do this?

Slavery finds many forms and takes on various appearances. In the days of old, it was depicted by a whip toting task master hovering over a slave with a chain wrapped around his ankle. Today, bondage is often found in our jobs, relationships, and attitudes, where we find ourselves addicted to certain negative traits and have difficulty “breaking free”.

Is this not the modern-day equivalent of slavery?

As we begin the Pesach holiday and celebration of freedom, we are reminded that the stories we recount and the rituals we observe are more about a commitment to the present than reminiscing about the past. During this time of year, we once again reaffirm our obligation to fight all forms of bigotry, negativity, and slavery, whether within or without. Most importantly, we devote ourselves to being positive members of society at a time when we all crave the priceless blessing of universal peace.

As our Pesach menus continue to expand, diversify, and become more sophisticated, let’s make sure that our understanding and appreciation of this holiday’s significance progresses at least apace with our culinary prowess.

Do you understand the meaning of the litany of biblical quotes and rabbinic commentary that we read? If not, perhaps it’s time to trade in your old haggadah for something with explanations. Do you know more about the exodus now than you were taught as a kid in cheder? Are you familiar with the rich significance attached to the many rituals of the seder experience?

It’s time to enrich our Jewish observance, and tap into the relevant holiday messages. There are so many resources available today at our fingertips. A website I would recommend is ChabadSouthAfrica.org/Passover which is chock full of holiday information, from practical, how-to guides and deep mystical insights to recipes and games for the entire family.

Pesach is coming. Let’s be ready!

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