Rabbi’s 2nd Night Seder
Thursday April 9
5-7pm via Zoom & shared on FB Live
Rabbi will be hosting a spiritually uplifting, virtual 2nd Night Seder.  A small group of KHNers will participate via Zoom and everyone is invited to follow along via Facebook Live.

 

Family-Focus Saturday Seder
Saturday April 11
5pm Streaming on Facebook Live
Join us for a short family-focused livestream seder led by Rabbi Zari with music by Orin Reynolds!
Kol HaNeshamah’s Facebook Page.

 

Seder Ideas for Extraordinary Times

QUICK TIP: Want to find (OR MAKE) the perfect Haggadah?  Check out Haggadot.com!  https://www.haggadot.com/

Dive into the Rabbi’s Passover Resources below and be sure to watch for Pesach Prep events via KHN Quarantine Academy including Stay-Home Centerpieces & Foraged Florals with Shannon Ninburg Monday at 1pm & a Silver Polishing Coffee Klatch.

 
Rabbi Z’s 5780 Passover Resources———————
B’chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et atzmo k’ilu hu yatzah mee-mitzrayim.

“In every generation a person should see him/herself as if he/she/they had personally gone out of Mitzrayim.”

Many times when I’ve hosted a Seder, I’ve invited guests to dress up as one of the characters in the Passover story.  They could come as a slave, Pharaoh, Moses, Miriam, or even an inanimate object such as one of the plagues or an item from the Seder dish.  I like to do whatever I can to help make the story come alive, so that it is not just our ancestors’ story we are telling, but our own as well.

This year, as we deal with the Covid-19 virus, Jews around the world will be required to experience Passover in an entirely new way.  The restrictions, constrictions, and emotional stresses we are experiencing at this time might actually help make our Passover celebration all the more poignant and therefore meaningful.

Many organizations and individuals are stepping up to help provide resources to help us observe Passover in our new and temporary restricted state.  Below you will find some great resources to help you and your loved ones celebrate Passover in fun and engaging ways.

But first, here is a list to help you plan:

    • A Shalom Sesame Parody Video: “Les Matzarables” will surely get everyone in the mood for the excitement of the seder! Join with familiar, furry characters as they sing about Passover to a tune reminiscent of the classic Les Miserables.
  • After reviewing/choosing what additions you will add, plan your Seder.  At the beginning of every Haggadah, there is a list of the steps or different sections of the seder (see below).  If celebrating with different people (in person or virtually), you might want to invite a different person to read or even offer their own commentary on each of these steps.  If you need some help with explanations, pronunciations, or melodies for the different prayers/parts of the seder, you can find them here:  https://urj.org/blog/2020/03/26/digital-content-enliven-years-virtual-seder?utm_source=InsideLeadership&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feature&utm_content=20200326&utm_content=2020_3_26)
    • Kadesh:  blessing over wine/juice; sets day apart as sacred
    • Urchatz: symbolic washing of hands
    • Karpas: symbol of spring; dip parsley in salt water
    • Yachatz: breaking the matzah
    • Maggid: the telling of the story
    • Rachatza: washing of hands in preparation for meal
    • Motzi/matzah: blessing for eating bread/matzah
    • Maror: eating of bitter herbs
    • Korech: making a sandwich with charoset and bitter herbs
    • Shulchan Orech: the meal begins!
    • Tzafun: finding the afikomen (dessert!)
    • Barech: blessing after the meal
    • Hallel: Psalms/songs of praise
    • Nirtzah:
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Getting Ready for Pesach/Passover 2020  with Rabbi Zari

Passover is just around the corner (first night is Wednesday, April 8, second night is Thursday, April 9th.) It concludes at sundown on Wednesday, April 15 (according to Reform practice), or at sundown on April 16th (according to more traditional practice). See https://reformjudaism.org/passover-7-or-8-days for an explanation about whether to observe Passover for 7 or 8 days.

While Passover is probably one of the most loved and most celebrated of Jewish holidays, it is also one which is a cause of anxiety for many people.  For those who didn’t grow up with all of the traditions and customs, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do—both to prepare your home, as well as to observe the holiday.  (It can be overwhelming even for those who did grow up with them!)

It’s possible to “go the whole nine yards” in observing the holiday; it’s also possible to start out by doing just a little, and build in more each year, as you learn more and grow and deepen in your understanding and appreciation of the holiday.  However much you choose to do, I hope that this short guide will help you “make Pesach” in a way that is meaningful to you.

Maot Chittim:  “Money for Wheat”:  As is the custom at many other times of the year, we think of others who are less fortunate than we.  Particularly as we prepare for Pesach, we think of those Jews who may not have enough money to purchase matzah and the other necessary items to observe the holiday.  It is customary to give tzedakah so that they may do so.  You might want to give to Jewish Family Services, or to another organization that provides food for those who are hungry.

Preparing your house: One of the main mitzvot (“sacred obligations”) of Pesach is to not eat chametz (leavened bread or any leavening agent) during the holiday.  Traditionally, one is not even supposed to own any chametz!   Because this can pose a financial hardship for many, the ancient rabbis determined that you can sell any chametz which is still in your possession (boxed up and put in your garage for the duration of the holiday, for example) to someone else.  It is then bought back after the holiday is over.  If you want to sell your chametz, see the form at the end.

Chametz:  With Passover, as with all aspects of Jewish life, there is a spectrum of observance.  The basic mitzvah, what I like to translate as “sacred obligation,” is to not to eat leavened bread (chametz).  Therefore, we don’t eat products made with wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt—unless the making of these products is supervised, in order to ensure that these have not leavened (Exodus 12:15-20).    Leavening is caused when the grain or its products come in contact with water (that doesn’t include being moistened by other liquids, such as undiluted fruit juices).

According to Talmudic tradition, grain cannot become chametz until it is milled into flour.  At that stage, if it comes into contact with water for a period of 18 minutes, it is assumed that the process of leavening has begun.  So the matzah that we buy in the store (as well as all the Kosher for Pesach products that are now available) have been carefully supervised to make sure that it has not yet reached the leavening stage.   Those who want to be really, really strict make a point of eating Shmura Matzah, which is matzah made from wheat that has been supervised from the time of reaping.

There are several types of leaven:  those that are grain and its products, and those that have some sort of leaven product mixed in.  There are a large number of products in this latter category; therefore, many items need a hechsher (certification) to show they are free of an admixture.   Ashkenazi Jews later added rice, corn, peas, beans, peanuts to this list (because when made into flour, they can be mistaken for flour.  Legumes and corn are not allowed, because they may have been confused with grain.  Beverages that contain grain alcohol are forbidden  (whiskey and bourbon–from fermented cereals–are prohibited, whereas brandy–from fermented grapes or other fruits–is permitted!).

Cleaning the House:  If you want to go the whole nine years, clean and scrub countertops, sinks, the oven and range, the refrigerator.  Remove all chametz (or box up and tape shut, or cover with tin foil). Kitchen utensils and dishware normally used in the home all year round are not used during Pesach.  The laws of kashering appliances, dishes and cutlery is pretty extensive; you can easily find guidelines on the internet, such as www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Passover.   Special dishes and utensils for Pesach are taken out of storage, cleaned and used.

Searching for Chametz:  On the evening before the Seder (Tuesday, April 7), it is time to thoroughly search your house for chametz (by this point you would have already finished up, donated, or boxed up any of your chametz products, so this is largely symbolic).  It is customary to distribute 10 small pieces of some form of chametz beforehand, so that there is something to find!  Just don’t forget where you put all the pieces!  Then say the blessing below, and quietly, by the light of a candle, go around the house and sweep with a feather any chametz that you find into a spoon, and deposit all pieces in one pile (perhaps in a coffee can).

Ba-ruch Ah-tah Ado-nai [or, for a gender neutral form of the blessing:  Nevarech et eyn Ha’Chayhim—Let us bless the Wellspring of Life] E-lo-hay-nu Meh-lech Ha-olam [neutral:  Chay Ha-olamim—Life of the Worlds] Ah-sher Ki-de-sha-nu B-mitz-vo-tav V-tzi-va-nu Al Bee-ur Chametz.
Blessed are You/Let us bless the Wellspring of Life, Eternal our G-d, Source of the universe/ Life of the Worlds, who has given us opportunities for holiness through the mitzvot, and given us the holy opportunity concerning the removal of chametz.

Finally, after the search, set the chametz pieces aside until the next morning.  Recite the following:

“Any chametz or leaven which is in my possession and which I have not seen, nor disposed of, nor known about, may it be considered as null and ownerless as the dust of the earth.”  The next morning, Wednesday, April 8, burn the chametz that was found together with the bag and the feather. Don’t forget to include any leftovers from breakfast!

Recite the following declaration after the chametz is burned:

“Any chametz (leavened bread) or leaven that is in my possession whether I have seen it or not, whether I have disposed it or not, may it be considered as null and as ownerless like the dust of the earth.”

Put out all of your Pesach dishes, foodstuffs, and items.  You are now ready for the holiday!  Enjoy!

 

Other Resources

My People’s Passover Haggadah, Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries, Vol. 1 & 2, Edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, Ph.D. and David Arnow, PhD. (also the author of Creating Lively Passover Seders:  A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts, and Activities) (Jewish Lights)

1001 Questions and Answers on Pesach, Jeffrey M. Cohen, (Jason Aaronson, Inc., 1996).