“And Pharaoh approached...they saw the Egyptians marching at their rear, and the people became very frightened. The Israelites cried out to G-d....They said to Moshe, ‘It would have been better for us to be slaves in Egypt than to die in the desert’” (Shemot 14:10-12).
The devar Torah is sponsored by Caron and Steven Gelles and Family in memory of their Grandparents Sylvia and Sam Gelles and Martha and Louis Silver.
"Guard the month of the spring and make Pesach to the Lord your G-d, because it was in the month of the spring that the Lord your G-d took you out of Egypt at night" (Devarim 16:1). Based on this verse, our rabbis derived that we must fix our calendar so that Pesach always falls in the spring. Our holidays celebrate both momentous events in Jewish history and the blessing of agriculture, acknowledging that the G-d of Creation and the G-d of History are one--a point many in the ancient world did not accept.
This d’var Torah is sponsored by Claire and Howard Glowinsky l'ilui nishmas Chanah bas Rachel a”H, their dear aunt who passed away early this week. May her memory be for a blessing.
Mashechet Pesachim details the events of the busiest day of the year, beginning with the search for chametz the night before the seder, the destruction of such the next morning, and the bringing of the korban pesach in the afternoon; and concluding with the seder in the evening. The contours of the seder, the oldest of Jewish rituals, are detailed in the Mishnah.
In his opening comment on the Bible, Rashi links the Creation story to that of the Exodus. Working on the assumption that the Torah is primarily a book of law, Rashi famously asks why the Torah does not begin with the first law given to the Jewish people, that of establishing a calendar. “And G-d spoke to Moshe and Aaron in the land of Egypt. This month [Nissan] shall be the head of months, the first to you of the months of the year” (12:1-2).
Our long sojourn in Egypt was meant to develop those character traits necessary to transform the Jewish into G-d's special nation. We were to appreciate the need for human freedom, develop our sensitivity towards others--especially the downtrodden--and were to forge a community with a shared history and destiny.
This week's d’var Torah is sponsored in commemoration of the second yahrzeit of our beloved wife and mother, Rochelle Muller; from Michael Muller, Jeff & Shira Muller, Janine & David Sherr.