Year of Growth 11th Lesson: Passover Engaged

Our amazing JEMS-JWRP Soul Sisters!

Passover is the holiday of Freedom!

Women say with all the cleaning it’s not freedom at all!!!

Spring is coming!

Pleasant time of the year.

Holiday season...Holiday pleasure.

New clothes...New Jewelry!

There is a Halacha that a husband has an obligation to buy his wife and children a piece of jewelry OR new clothes.

There is a stress of cleaning and getting prepared for the Holiday.

We need to know what we need to do "Halachicaly" and what is a stringency... what is extra that is not obligatory. Is it the law or extra?

Practical advice:

- try being more organized and plan in advance

- use creativity and involve all the members of the family for the cleaning to give them that experience and knowledge...everyone needs to feel engaged, invested and committed

What is the whole point of Passover?

We are supposed to tell over the story of the Exodus!!! We celebrate our independence. Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski says most Independance Days are usually celebrated with a parade, some speeches and a pic nick. Why all the fuss?

So we see that the Jewish people are always remembering the Exodus. When we do Kiddush every Shabbat we say “Zecher Le’Yitziat Mitzrayim”. When the men put on their Tefillin they say “Zecher Le’Yitziat Mitzrayim” and almost all the Mitzvot have this same connection to “Zecher Le’Yitziat Mitzrayim”.

The Seder is the point to educate our children!!! We live for our children and we need to give it all over to our children.

Pessach is the anniversary of our birth as a nation! On the 15th of Nissan, Hashem liberated us from slavery in Egypt and we began the 50 day progression that culminated in our receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. These 50 days we commemorate every year with the Sefirat Ha’Omer.

We have something else in life than just looking for personal pleasure. We are not simply animals. As Albert Einstein said: “That idea, that life is here purely for personal pleasure, that is a goal for a herd of swine.” We are more than animals.

This is where Torah comes in and tells us G-D created us not like other animals, G-D created us so we can participate in our own personal growth. It is written “Naaseh Adam”. This means let US make man. G-D created us with a body and a Neshama and great potential so that we can become something greater than an animal that has no control over its needs and urge to seek pleasure. There is nothing wrong with pleasure, but if we only seek personal pleasure, we are no better than the animals.

Pessach tells us that we were slaves in Egypt and when we got out we lost our freedom to addictions to alcohol, food, drugs. We can never afford to loose our dignity, forget our potential and strive to live a life as we were meant to live: serving Hashem and following his Torah.

Passover, which celebrates the Jews' freedom from slavery in Egypt, this year begins on March 30th. During Passover we avoid leavened foods, like pasta, cereal, cakes, bread and cookies – and instead eat matzos, lots of matzos. (Matzo, unleavened bread, is eaten because, according to the Bible, the Jews didn't have time to wait for their bread to rise as they fled Egypt.)

Yael Dworkin, an amazing educator and our 2014 JEMS-JWRP Co-City Leader, taught us that everything is made up of the 4 elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Matzah differs from Chametz in that it does not consist of Air. Matzah is not "airy" or inflated. This added Air, also known as Ruach, makes us haughty and we forget G-d in our daily lives.

During these days of Passover, we are humbled and grateful for all the miracles G-D has made for us in the past, and all the miracles G-D continues to do for each and every one of us. Re-telling the historical events of our People's Exodus from Egypt and our becoming a Nation and receiving the Holy Torah, allows us to stay connected and true to our Heritage and live according to our Birthright with Torah Values and be a Light Unto the Nations!

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