The Pesach Companion
Apr14

The Pesach Companion

We invite you to download and print our free Pesach Companion guide. Download (PDF,...

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We Have Had Enough! Dayeinu!
Apr13

We Have Had Enough! Dayeinu!

In a few hours, after days of preparations, cleaning and cooking, we will finally sit down and begin to recite the Haggadah. We will retell the story of our persecution and exile and of our miraculous deliverance and freedom. At the climax of this story, we begin to sing joyously, “diydiy-einu; diydiy-einu; diydiy-einu; diyeinu – diyeinu! The Dayeinu song goes on to describe our thankfulness for the many wondrous deeds and miracles...

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Freedom For All!
Apr09

Freedom For All!

“The land of the free and the home of the brave.” If I wouldn’t know that these words were part of the national anthem, I might think they were sung at the Pesach Seder! After all, on Pesach we celebrate our freedom from servitude – something only achieved by acting brave and courageous. Our ancestors in Egypt didn’t have it easy. Forced to do backbreaking labor, men were also made to do women’s work and women to do jobs typically...

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Go Beyond Nature – Nissan #2
Apr04

Go Beyond Nature – Nissan #2

A Sacred Time – Nissan #2 Nissan is the time when the spring begins in earnest, when the world goes into bloom, and its mazal is the ram. This renewal of the natural world, while positive, also has its more negative aspect: the rejuvenation of material desires. The Egyptians worshiped the ram because they believed that one should act out his animalistic nature, which is the opposite of personal purity. The pesach offering is...

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Getting Down From Scrubbing? – Nissan #1
Apr02

Getting Down From Scrubbing? – Nissan #1

Now that Nissan has arrived, it’s time to talk about Pesach cleaning. Although the halachic sources applaud the great care that the Jewish people take in preparing for Pesach–going above and beyond the strict letter of the law–many do feel overwhelmed (or just plain worried) about how they will manage the job. Most are even busier than usual without factoring in the cleaning. How can we do a truly thorough Pesach...

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A Simple, Sincere Passover
Apr01

A Simple, Sincere Passover

I no longer am fearful, but eager to embrace Passover preparations now that I know joy is an essential part of the holiday, and stress is not.

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Simple Success – Adar #10
Mar28

Simple Success – Adar #10

A Sacred Time – Adar #10 Simple Success – Parashat HaChodesh (the New Moon) “Rav Yitzchak said: If a person makes himself simple, Hashem is simple with him. Rav Oshaya taught, ‘When a person is simple with Hashem, the hour stands for him.’” (Masechet Nedarim) Rebbe Nachman taught: “The main spiritual work is simplicity…. Although one should not be a fool, he should be simple.”...

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The Key To Success
Mar26

The Key To Success

These weeks are very special weeks in that we read portions from the Torah that have an incredible power to transform us. Last Week – Parshat Parashat Parah The Torah commands us to sprinkle the ashes of a red heifer onto someone who came into contact with a corpse and became impure. Even today without the Holy Temple, just by hearing this commandment read from the Torah, we receive the purity brought about by holy ashes. The ashes...

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Sacred Time: Start Fresh – Adar #9
Mar25

Sacred Time: Start Fresh – Adar #9

A Sacred Time – Adar #9 Start Fresh “This month shall be the first month for you” (Shemot 12:2) Rebbe Nachman taught: “It is not good to be old. Even an old chassid or an old tzaddik is not good. One needs to renew himself by beginning fresh every day…” (Sichot HaRan, #51) Reb Nosson z”l, explains that Parshat Hachodesh (we read this Torah portion this Shabbat) alludes to renewal, just like the moon...

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Sacred Time: Dead Or Alive – Adar 8
Mar21

Sacred Time: Dead Or Alive – Adar 8

Adar 8 Dead Or Alive? After Purim, we prepare for Pesach by reading the Parshat Parah–the Torah portion that details the laws of the red heifer, which was burned so its ashes could be used to purify from the defilement of the dead. This was a necessary stage in the path to Pesach, since the Pesach offering could only be eaten in a state of ritual purity. Even though we no longer have a Beit Hamikdash, the laws of the offerings...

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Sacred Time: It’s Never Too Late – Adar 7
Mar19

Sacred Time: It’s Never Too Late – Adar 7

Adar 7 It’s Never Too Late “…And they made it a day of feasting and joy.” (Esther 9:18) Rebbe Nachman’s daughter Sarah got married in Medvedevka right after Purim. Reb Nosson made the long journey to Medvedevka for the wedding, only arriving toward the end of Purim. After a very trying journey, he was so exhausted that he really couldn’t rejoice as one should on the holiday. Although he had made it in time to...

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And The King Extended His Golden Scepter
Mar13

And The King Extended His Golden Scepter

OK, so we were spared. And for over 2000 years, Jews have celebrated the holiday of Purim. But what’s so special about Purim? Haven’t we seen innumerable villains rise up against us, trying to destroy our nation? Don’t we declare in the Passover Haggadah every year, “In every generation, they rise against us to annihilate us, but the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand”? Furthermore, we celebrate Passover because the...

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Sacred Time: Saving The Crumbs – Adar 6
Mar12

Sacred Time: Saving The Crumbs – Adar 6

Adar 6 Saving the Crumbs   The word Purim can also indicate peirurim, or crumbs. The verse states, “Por hitporerah ha’aretz…”–“The earth is crumbled to pieces…” (Yeshayah 24:19) Even though, in its context, the verse speaks of devastation, it also has a hidden meaning about how it is possible to repair the situation. We fix ourselves and our “crumbled” world with the crumbs of good...

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Sacred Time: Did You Eat from the Tree? – Adar 5
Mar09

Sacred Time: Did You Eat from the Tree? – Adar 5

Adar 5 “Did You Eat from the Tree?” Every Jew who is proud to be Jewish generates a unique hitpa’arut or pride on high as well. Every motion that we make moves all of the upper worlds. The Baal Shem Tov taught that Hashem loves each and every Jew far more than a parent loves an only child. The Zohar says if we realized how much Hashem loves us, we would be so overwhelmed that we would faint on the spot. Reb Nosson...

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A Thought For The Week: Purim
Mar09

A Thought For The Week: Purim

Purim is a golden opportunity to see major miracles and breakthroughs in life. The Magid of Mezritch (the main disciple of the Baal Shem Tov) teaches that just as Torah law requires us to give charity and gifts to anyone who asks for them on Purim, so too does this apply between man and God. Whoever extends their hands in prayer/request towards Hashem, He must also give! Because of all this, the spiritual and emotional preparations...

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Sacred Time: (Re-in) Venting Your Spleen – Adar 4
Mar09

Sacred Time: (Re-in) Venting Your Spleen – Adar 4

Adar 4 (Re-in) Venting Your Spleen The organ that is associated with the month of Adar is the spleen. Its function in the body is to filter and cleanse the blood of worn or deficient blood vessels. The Zohar explains that a filter is, by definition, an expression of Gevurah–restraint. When the spleen does its job, old blood is replaced, its iron is recycled, and a healthy reserve is maintained for emergencies. If it isn’t fit,...

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