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From Rabbi David - Passover Resources for You

03/18/2021 06:36:35 PM

Mar18

Dear Friends,

Here we are, in the first week of Nisan, and so it’s time to take those first steps toward Z’man Cherutenu, the Season of Liberation.  I hope by now you have seen our set of programs for Passover, including pre-Seder workshops as well as a range of programming on and around the days of Passover.  This letter is more about preparing, with some resources to help you set the stage for this deeply meaningful time of year.

Ma’ot Chittin - Donations to those in need

The Haggadah invites us with the words,  “Let all who are hungry come and eat,” and fittingly, it is a historic custom to make donations to charities that provide food to those in need.  The Northampton Survival Center is our critical local partner in helping us work toward food justice in our community.  If it's not already your practice, investigate becoming a Bread and Butter member of the NSC with a monthly donation.  And if you already are, consider giving them some extra tzedakah in the spirit of Pesach.

Passover Guide

Getting rid of chametz (leaven), kashering the kitchen, figuring out what is or is not kosher for Passover becomes its own set of observances within the holiday.  Here is the Rabbinical Assembly’s Passover Guide, with its comprehensive and updated advice.  Some of us embrace the work, some of us avoid it, but this guide will likely both answer questions and raise others - this too is part of the holiday.

Selling Chametz 

It’s simple - appoint me as your agent with this declaration: “I appoint Rabbi Justin David as my agent in selling my Chametz during Passover, 5781.”  Just copy the declaration into email, sign your name, send it to office@cbinorthampton.org, and I’ll take care of things from there.  If you wish to make a donation to the Northampton Survival Center as a token appreciation of the service, please feel free.

A Bracha (Blessing) for Flowering Trees 

It’s probably still too early, but one never knows.  The Talmud provides us with a beautiful blessing over the scent of flowering trees in the month of Nisan: “Praised are You, Adonai our God, Creator of the Universe, who has created good creatures and good trees for the benefit of human beings.”  Before or after saying the blessing, feel free to take a moment to sing or meditate on the last verse from Psalms that serves as the textual foundation of this practice, “Kol ha-neshama t’halel Yah,” “Let everyone with the fullness of soul celebrate the Creator.”

I will follow up this note with others to prepare us for the holiday, steering us toward organizations working for justice and liberation as well as tips for your seders.  Until then, I hope you are staying safe and well, and I look forward to being in touch soon.

Shabbat Shalom,

 

Rabbi Justin David    

Thu, October 21 2021 15 Cheshvan 5782