Chol Hamoed Pesach 5764-2004

"With G-d as Our Partner"

If the Egyptian magicians were able to replicate some of the plagues G-d visited upon Egypt, why couldn't they remove any of the plagues that G-d sent? Was Moses the agent of G-d who brought about the plagues, or was he more than that? Through the Biblical text, an interesting lesson is learned about the true nature of leadership.

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Passover 5763-2003

"Chametz, Matzah and Faith in Redemption"

A major theme of the Passover holiday is the elimination of chametz--leaven, and the substitution of matzah, unleavened bread in its stead. Oddly enough, both chametz and matzah are made of the same ingredients, flour and water. However, chametz is allowed to ferment. Matzah, on the other hand, is not permitted to stand and ferment, but must be constantly kneaded. Flour and water become chametz automatically if the mixture is allowed to stand. We learn from the matzah that a truly meaningful life never comes effortlessly, but only through significant exertion and labor.

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Passover 5761-2001

"The Final Days of Pesach--Days of Unity"

For Jews who live in the Diaspora, the last day of Passover is meant to be a day of unity, hit'chab'root, of coming together. Just as the ancient Children of Israel go down into Egypt as 70 souls, as members of 12 disparate tribes and emerge as one united nation, so are contemporary Jews bidden to emphasize what common bonds we have, rather than the differences. Passover, after all, is in the month of Nissan, the month of redemption. Only through unity will the Jewish people be fortunate enough to achieve ultimate redemption.

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Passover 5760-2000

"The Passover Seder--Focus on the Children"

Even before the enslavement of the Jews began, Pharaoh instructed the midwives to kill all newborn Jewish babies. The Midrash goes further, asserting that Pharaoh's disproportionate hatred of Jewish children led him to try to remedy his leprosy affliction by bathing in the blood of Jewish children. On Passover night, every Jew is a child, and every Jew becomes a parent, to underscore the importance of nurturing the next generation.

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