Posts Tagged ‘Pesach’

24
Apr

Hallel as Shirah: Paragraph Four: A Promise To Accompany

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The Sages say, “This is my Lord and I will glorify Him,” “v-anveihu,” should be read, “alvenhu,” I will escort Him, until I enter His Temple with Him. This can be compared to a King who journeyed across the sea, and his son accompanied him. The King then traveled to another country, and his son insisted on accompanying him. So too, when Israel went down into Egypt, the Divine Presence went down with them, as the verse says, “I will go down to Egypt with you (Genesis 46:4).” When they ascended from Egypt, the Divine Presence accompanied them, as the verse says, “I will go up with you.” Israel went down into the Sea and the Divine Presence went down with them, as the verse says, “And the Angel of the Lord traveled (Exodus 14:19).”They exited the Sea into the desert and the Divine Presence was with them, as the verse says, “And God moved before them (13:21).” Until they brought Him with them to the Temple, as the verse says, “Scarce had I passed from them, when I found him whom my soul loves: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me (Song of Songs 3:4).” (Mechiltah, Beshalach)

This midrash is describing the people as bringing the Divine Presence with them; not that She accompanied them! The people sensed that the brought the Divine Presence with them, and they committed themselves to always bring Her with them until they could bring Her to Her Home.

We sing this paragraph of Hallel as Shirah with a clear sense that wherever we are we bring the Divine Presence with us, until we can bring Her to the Beit Hamikdash and thank God for all He has done to give us such protection, power, blessing and independence.


  • Sing this paragraph after reviewing moments from Pesach and the past year when we sensed God’s Presence in our lives.

  • Sing this paragraph as a commitment to create an environment for God’s Presence to remain close until we can accompany Her to the Beit Hamikdash.


“What can I respond to God for all the good He has given to make me independent?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and I will call out in God’s Name.

I will fulfill my promises to God in front of all His nation.

Death to His pious ones is precious in God’s eyes.

Please God, allow me to be Your servant.

I am Your worker, the son of Your maidservant,

You unlocked my chains.

I will bring an offering of thanks to You, and I will call out in the Name of God.

I will fulfill my promises to God in front of all His nation.

In the courtyards of God’s House, in the center of Jerusalem.

Hallelukah!”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
24
Apr

Hallel as Shirah: Paragraph Three: The Blessing of Being Able To Sing

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Rabbi Berachiah said: Come and see how privileged were those who went down into the Sea; How much did Moshe have to plead to “see” God, until he saw God’s Image, as it is written, “Show me Your Glory (Exodus 33:18).” The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to him, “You cannot see My face,” and in the end, “When My Glory passes before you,” was all he was shown. The Chayot that carry God’s Throne do not see God’s Image, and when the time comes for them to sing, they ask, “Where is the place of His Glory?” But those who ascended from the Sea were able to point with a finger and say, “This is my Lord.” The Holy One, Blessed is He, responded, “You said, ‘This is my Lord,’ but in the Future World you will say double This, as it is written, “And they will say on that day, ‘Behold, this is our Lord; we hoped to Him that He would save us; this is God to Whom we hoped, let us exult and be glad in His salvation (Isaiah 25:9).” (Shemot Rabbah 23:15) This paragraph of Hallel as Shirah is a celebration of the blessing that comes to those who sing Hallel; the blessing that they will experience so much more that they will sing double what they can sing now.


  • Use this paragraph of Hallel as Shirah to celebrate the sense of expansion of your ability to sing God’s praises as an outgrowth of the Haggadah.


“God remembered us and will bless – Bless the House of Israel – Bless the House of Aaron – Bless those who are in awe of God, the insignificant with the great. God will enhance you – you and your children. You are blessed to God Who made the heavens and the earth. The heavens are God’s, while the earth has been given to people. The dead do not praise the Creator of Worlds, nor do those who go down to their doom. But we – we praise the Creator of Worlds – From now and forever – Hallelukah!” Author Info: Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
24
Apr

Hallel as Shirah: Paragraph Two: Infinite Song

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The Congregation of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed is He, “Master of the Universe! We do not sing this Shirah only for the miracles You have performed for us, but for all the miracles You have performed for my ancestors and all generations.” This is the meaning of the verse, “The Lord of my fathers, and I will exalt Him.” (Mechiltah, Beshalach)

This paragraph of Hallel as Shirah is the real song that never ends: It is the song that allows us to join our response to witnessing and experiencing God’s miracles to the Song of the Sea.


  • Take insights from the Seder that focused on parallels between the Haggadah and our current lives as human beings, as Jews, and as individuals, and “join” them to this song.


“When Israel left Egypt, Jacob’s family from among a people who spoke a strange language, Judah became God’s Holy Place, Israel, His realm.

The Sea saw it and ran away. The Jordan River reversed course. The mountains danced like deer, the hills like lambs.

What’s with you, Sea, that you flee? With the Jordan, that you turn around? With the Mountains, that you dance like deer? With the hills, like lambs?

Quake, you Land, before your Master, before the Lord of Jacob!

Who turned the rock into a pool of water. Pebbles into a source of water.”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
24
Apr

Hallel as Shirah: Paragraph One “This”

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Rav Yehudah said in the name of Shmuel: Regarding the Song that is written in the Torah, it is clear that Moshe and the Israelites first recited it when they ascended from the Sea of Reeds. But regarding this Hallel, who said it? (Pesachim 117a)” The Talmud is comparing the Song of the Sea, Shirah, to Hallel. On the final day(s) of Pesach, the day of the Splitting of the Sea, we have an opportunity to sing Hallel as they sang the Shirah. We offer these kavanot for the Hallel of the Last day(s) of Pesach as Shirah:

Rabbi Eliezer says, “From where do we derive that a maidservant was able to see at the Sea what Isaiah and Ezekiel, and all the other prophets were not able to see? “Through the prophets I conveyed allegories (Hosea 12:11).” “I saw visions of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:1) We can compare this to a King of flesh and blood who is coming to visit a city, and who is preceded and surrounded by noblemen and warriors. People don’t know which of the people dressed in elaborate clothes and uniforms is the King. This is because he is a person, just as are the warriors and nobles. However, when the Holy One, Blessed is He, revealed Himself at the Sea, no one needed to ask, ‘Which is the King?’ Once they saw, they knew, and were able to point and say, ‘This is my Lord, and I will glorify Him.’ (Mechiltah, Beshalach)”

The emphasis of the opening paragraph of this Hallel is a celebration of our ability to point and say, “This,” with full awareness of how God is manifest to His servants.


  • Review moments and insights of Pesach when you experienced heightened awareness of God’s involvement in your life; when you were able to point at something specific and say, “This is my Lord.”


“Hallelukah!

Praise, you who serve God! Praise the Name of God.

Let the Name of God be blessed from now and forever.

From sunrise to sundown, the Name of God is praised.

God is above all the nations. His Glory is beyond the sky.

Who is like God, our Lord, Who lives up high, but drops down to see what happens (to us) in the (lower) heaven and earth?

Who lifts up the lowly from the dust, raises the destitute from the garbage dumps to be seated with leaders, the leaders of their people.

Who Makes a home for the childless woman and joy for the mother of children. Hallelukah!”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
22
Apr

Innocence & Experience Part Two

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

William Blake wrote two series of poems, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, and one character appears in both; The Chimney-Sweeper. The poet focuses on one of the great ills of late-eighteenth-century London life; the use of young boys and girls, aged between four and seven, sent up into the London chimneys and destined for a life of incredible hardship and pain. It is known that many died in the chimneys, when fires were lit with the chimney sweep still there, and that many developed skin cancers, due to the fact that they often worked naked, so as to spare the cost of replacing ruined clothes.

I think of these poor chimney sweeps when I read of the children buried alive in the walls of Egypt. Acting with the guidance of “Morning, Noon, and Night; Finding the Meaning of Life’s Stages Through Books,” by Arnold Weinstein, I first present the voice of the Chimney Sweep speaking in Songs of Experience. This, I imagine, would be the voice of Micah looking back on his time in the walls:

From Songs of Experience:

A little black thing among the snow,

Crying! ‘weep! weep!’ in notes of woe!

‘Where are thy father and mother?  Say!’ –

‘They are both gone up to the church to pray.

‘Because I was happy upon the heath,

And smiled among the winter’s snow,

They clothed me in the clothes of death,

And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

‘And because I am happy and dance and sing,

They think they have done me no injury,

And are gone to praise God and His priest and king,

Who made up a heaven of our misery.’

It is not difficult to read these words and hear them spoken by one of the children of the walls:

“A little black thing among the snow,

Crying! ‘weep! weep!’ in notes of woe!

‘Where are thy father and mother?  Say!’ –

‘They are both gone up to the church to pray.”

We mention in the Haggadah how the parents prayed and cried “from their work” even as their children were being murdered. The child can only utter a feeble, “weep! Weep!” but their parents cannot hear, in the poem because they are in church praying, and in Egypt, too crushed themselves to pay attention.

I guess that if these children were destined to be evil, it was because there was no one to hear them! Moshe was horrified by the evil, but the Midrash does not describe him as hearing the children cry. He wanted them brought back to life, but we do not read of his instructing the parents to take special care to pay attention to the child’s needs and concerns.

Perhaps the Midrash is describing children who have been emotionally buried in the walls by their parents long before physically entombed by the Egyptians. It is not enough to simply free the child, just as it would not be enough to free the parents without guiding them through the process.

Micah was Moshe’s lesson in pulling his people out from the walls of Egypt and restoring them to life. Micah was a person lost. He needed healing and he could not learn to live with the experience of being brought back to life without direction. Micah was Moshe’s lesson in healing Israel and teaching them to live after Revelation at Sinai. Micah is understood by the Midrash as the father of the Golden Calf; he was the paradigm of one brought back to life without being guided back into life.

Micah was just one of more Thames half a million, and he would have Moshe’s attention. No individuals weak weeping could be ignored.

Micah is the individual child. Micah is the single student. Micah is the one whose cries are drowned out by his parents’ prayers and religious life. Micah is the child who feels stuck in the walls. He is the student of great creativity and passion for life who lives without proper direction and nurture. No wonder his story is presented as one of great love of a mother for a child. He is the child who runs into the open arms of anyone offering love and direction.

Can Israel sing Hallel as long as a single Micah is lost because we are too busy praying?

To be continued…

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
22
Apr

Innocence & Experience Part One

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The Talmud describes the Children of Israel as hesitant to establish Hallel as an official part of our liturgy as long as Micha’s idol remained standing.  The most common explanation is that people did not want to sing the verse, “Their worshippers should be like them,” meaning, just as the idols cannot see, speak, hear, touch or move, so too, their worshippers should be stifled, as long as many Jews were worshipping idols. The Temple of Micah is said to have stood as long as the Mishkan.

I suspect that there is far more to Israel’s hesitation than a single verse, and that their hesitation is related less to Micah’s idol, than to his legendary origins. The Mideast describes how Moshe was haunted by the fact that God allowed the Egyptians to bury Jewish children alive in the buildings. “How can You allow this to go on?” he asked God. “all these children would have grown up to be evil!” God responded. Moshe wasn’t satisfied until God permitted and empowered him to remove one of the buried children, restore him to life and see what would happen. The baby Moshe pulled from the walls was Micah who worshipped idols even as Israel crossed the sea, and eventually erected his infamous temple right in the vicinity of the Mishkan, hiring Moshe’s grandson as the priest.

It’s difficult to know where to begin: 1) The same Moshe who is said to have looked into the future to confirm that no good would ever come from the Egyptian before he killed him, is described as bothered when God says that these babies would have grown up to be evil. 2) Moshe is obviously bothered by the issue of Free Choice, and how God can intervene and allow a child to be killed because he was destined to be evil. Did the child not have Free Choice?   Did God mean that the child would never have offspring who would be good? 3) Was it only the babies buried alive in the walls who would be evil? What about all the babies drowned in the Nile? 4) Did Moshe not rely on God, and believe that he could prove God’s predictions inaccurate? 5) Was Moshe being punished when Micah worshipped idols as they were crossing the sea? 6) Was Moshe’s grandson destined, without free choice, to become the priest in Micah’s temple?

Are we to believe that when a child dies, it is possible that he was destined to be evil?

When did this conversation between God and Moses take place? Was it when Moshe was a young prince, explaining how Micah could be old enough to worship idols as they were crossing the sea? Was it after Moshe returned as an eighty year old man?

What happened after Micah was pulled from the wall and brought back to life? Was he returned to his parents? Did he remember what happened? Did other people know? Did they come clamoring for Moshe to pull their children from the walls? Did Micah grow up as a “special child,” the Harry Potter of his generation? Was there a lesson in all this for Israel? For us?

Is it somewhere in this story that we will find the issue that caused Israel to hesitate to make Hallel more official?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
22
Apr

Still Growing Up

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Reflections & Observations

“The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions: Dante’s is one of those which one can only just hope to grow up to at the end of his life (T. S. Eliot).”

The Haggadah has changed for me from the basic children’s story of my childhood, to a sophisticated perspective of Jewish history and applying its lessons, as did the Rabbis in Bnei Brak, to our times. I have outgrown the Haggadah of my childhood, and find that it is the perfect indicator of how much I have developed since the previous Pesach.

There is one constant: No matter how profound its lessons, I still aspire to be able to read it as did my father zt”l. We would all come to the Seder armed with ideas, questions, and explanations, but our father would read the words with such simple beauty that he answered all our questions just with his reading. (This was true of the way he read everything; a verse, Gemara, Rashi, Rambam, or Halacha; he saw in the basic text far beyond all the commentaries.) I hope to grow up to his reading of the Haggadah by the end of my life.

This year I understood that it is not only my reading of the Haggadah that indicates my growth, but the aspiration of my reading; the deeper my understanding, the more I appreciate my father’s clarity, and the more I aspire to grow up to read as did he.

There is a bittersweet quality to such aspiration; Almost twelve years after his death, I am still discovering more of his greatness. I realize that, although I revered him while he was alive; I revere him far more now, and I am pained that I did not have such reverence while he was alive. My father is still teaching me, touching me, guiding me. So, while most others outgrow their desire to be like their fathers, I hope to grow up to be like him by the end of my life.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
18
Apr

Haftarah: Second Day Pesach: A Pesach of Covenant

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

II Kings 23:1-9, 21-25: “Before him there had never been a king who returned to God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his resources, according to the entire Torah of Moshe, and after him, no one arose like him.” This is a story of Pesach as a tale of the Shema; “with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his resources,” and Yom Kippur, “who returned to God.”

I’m not happy when people observe Yom Kippur only as a serious day of trembling without the joy that comes with atonement, purity, and deep connection to God. I’m even unhappier when people treat Pesach as another one of those Yom Kippurs; not as a day of rejoicing in freedom and singing Hallel, but obsessing over the laws to the point that they are only happy with added strictures, terrified of making the slightest mistake. Our story, that of Yoshiyahu’s Pesach of Shema, Teshuva, and Covenant, is the real story of Pesach: “For such a Pesach Offering had not been offered since the days of the Judges who judged Israel, and all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah (Verse 22).” This Pesach was greater than King David’s, Solomon’s, Yehoshafat, and Chizkiyahu! What made it so special?

The young king, raised in a house of idol worshippers, understood that God’s House could not remain in disrepair. He ordered a remodeling, and during the process something rare was discovered; a Sefer Torah. It was the Torah written by Moshe. They opened the scroll and read Ki Tavo, describing the consequences of violating God’s covenant by serving Him without joy. Yoshiyahu revered the Torah as The Book of Covenant; the Book to which we said at Sinai, “We will do, and we will relate.” “Relate,” as in “Nishmah,” of Shema!

Yoshiyahu, “Stood on the platform and sealed a covenant before God: to follow God and to observe His commandments, His testimonies, and His decrees (Hints of the Wise Child) with a complete heart and a complete soul, to establish the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And the entire people accepted the covenant (Verse 3).”

Yoshiyahu began this Pesach with a Covenant of Relationship, just as did the Children of Israel begin their Pesach with the Covenant of Milah.

It was only after the people sealed their Covenant of Relationship with God that they began their Pesach cleaning: “The king instructed Hilkiyahu the Kohen Gadol, the Kohanim of the second rank, and the gate keepers to remove from the Temple of God all the vessels that had been made  for the Baal, the Asheirah, and all the heavenly hosts (Verse 4).” He Pesach cleaned all of Israel, “He brought all the Kohanim from the cities of Judah and he defiled the high places where the priests used to burn offerings (Verse 8).”

After the Covenant, and the Pesach cleaning of all that would interfere with the relationship he, “Commanded the entire nation, saying, ‘Bring the Pesach Offering to God, your Lord (Verse 21).”

This was a “whole” Pesach, “you shall not break a bone in it (Exodus 12:46),” as the original Pesach. It was an expression of Covenant, Relationship, Cleansing ( as in, “You shall nullify the leaven from your homes [12:15]), and Holy Convocation (as in, “On the first day shall be a holy convocation [12:16]). They returned to that first Pesach; Teshuvah, and celebrated a Pesach of the Freedom of Relationship.

This was Yoshiyahu’s Pesach, and this can be ours as well.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
18
Apr

Hallel: Chol haMoed Pesach: Journey to the Mountain VI

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Their gratitude did not lessen as the days increased:“Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever!

Let Israel declare that His Kindness is forever!

Let the House of Aaron declare that His kindness is forever!

Let those who are in awe of God declare that His kindness is forever!

They needed to call on their strengths in order to continue singing.

“I called to the Creator of Heaven and Earth from a tight spot, and He answered me broadly.”

They lived within the protection of the Clouds of Glory, and sang:

“God is with me, I have no fear; what can people do to me? God is with me to help me, so I can confront my enemies. It is better to depend in God than to trust people. It is better to depend on God than to trust people in power. All the nations surrounded me but I survived them in God’s Name. They surrounded and encircled me but I survived them in God’s Name. Though they surrounded me like a swarm of bees, they were snuffed out like burnt thorns. I survived them in God’s Name.”

When they felt their confidence weaken, they recalled:

“I was pushed to fall but God helped me. The Creator of Heaven and Earth is my Help and my Hammer, and became my Savior. Song and victory sound in the tents of the just. God’s Hand makes victory. God’s Hand is supreme. God’s Hand makes victory!”

To what did they aspire?

“I will not die but live, and tell of the doings of the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”

They could not look back on the entire story, not just on the thrill of redemption:

“The Creator afflicted me to direct me but did not destroy me.”

They witnessed God’s judgment against the Egyptians, and prayed:

“Open the gates of justice for me, I will enter and thank the Creator. This is the gate to God, the just may enter here. I thank You for answering me, You became my salvation.”

Rather than wonder what they had become other than wanderers, they sang:

“The stone rejected by the builders became the cornerstone. This happened because of God; it is wondrous in our eyes.”

They realized that each day offered a unique opportunity:

“This is the day God made; let us sing and be happy with it.”

And they prayed for the future:

“Please God; Save us!

Please God; Make us successful!”

And then prayed for the opportunity to use their future to:

“Bless those who come in God’s Name; we bless you from God’s House.

God is The Power and gave us Light.

Wave your holiday branches up to the corners of the altar.

You are my Power and I thank You, My Lord and I will exalt You.

Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever!”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share
18
Apr

Hallel: Chol haMoed Pesach: Journey to the Mountain V

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Imagine a nation marching through the desert, convinced that their journey was a lesson to the world of God’s kindness and truth! Imagine being able to sing with them, not because of great miracles, and not because God was defeating their enemies, but because of the way we experience a life in relationship with God!

“All you nations; Praise God!

Sing compliments, all you peoples!

For His kindness overpowers us, and God’s Truth is forever.

Hallelukah!”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

Share