Your Shabbat Guest​

    The few weeks leading up to Pesach are exciting ones on the Jewish calendar, as well as in the life of a congregation.  There are four special Shabbatot leading up to the Holiday.  There is a Shabbat dedicated to a census of the Jewish people.  As we march to freedom (or fight to protect freedom), it is important for every member of our people to be counted on in both good times, and bad.

     There is a Shabbat dedicated to remembering the original Amalek, and those throughout the generations that wish our people only harm, evil, and destruction.

     There is a Shabbat dedicated to the “Parah Adumah” (the Red Heffer), the pure-red, and unblemished cow whose ashes will be used to cleanse the unclean among us prior to Pesach.  There is also a Shabbat connected to the arrival of the month of Nisan, the month of our liberation from the bondage of Egypt.

     ​What a “run-up” to Pesach!  Each of these special Shabbatot calls on us to look at ourselves from the inside, out.  What does it mean to be counted as a member of a people?  What does it mean to be a member of a “tribe”?   Why take time to remember those who wish us harm, evil, and destruction?  Why the need to be cleansed by the ashes of a red heffer?

     Finally, why the need to have a special Shabbat dedicated to marking the arrival of the month of Nisan?  Is it not enough to simply bless the new month like we do for all of the other months? 

      Four Shabbatot as a “run-up” to Pesach … Each one gives us much food for thought.  Together, they help us prepare for Pesach – the celebration of our freedom.

     This coming Shabbat is yet another special event in the “run-up” to Pesach.  It is called “Shabbat ha-Gadol” – THE BIG SHABBAT.  We will discuss THE BIG SHABBAT on March 28.

     May your “run-up” to Pesach lead to an enhanced celebration of this holiday of our freedom!          


     Chag Kasher v’Sameach!



Notes from the Road - The "Run-Up" to Pesach