Posts Tagged ‘Seder’

17
Apr

Dreams

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“When God will return the captivity of Zion, we will be as dreamers (Psalms 126:1).” One of the major ideas of the story of the Redemption from Egypt is that it includes the seeds of all future redemptions. If, as King David says, “we will be as dreamers,” after the final Redemption, we should be able to find a hint of dreaming in the Pesach story.

There is far more than a hint; ironically, it is the brothers who resented Joseph’s dreams who insist that the family enter Egypt as dreamers!

“And sojourned there,” teaches us that Jacob did not descend into Egypt to remain there, but only to temporarily settle, as the verse says, “And they said to Pharaoh, ‘We have come to sojourn in the land, since there is no grazing for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan; now, if you please, allow your servants to dwell in the region of Goshen’ (Genesis 47:4).”

Chutzpah! Joseph had saved the family. Joseph was the one with vision. Joseph was the viceroy of Egypt. Joseph knew Pharaoh well, and had given specific instructions about what to say to the King: “And it shall be, when Pharaoh summons you, and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ Then you are to say, ‘Your servants have been cattlemen from our youth till now, both we and our forefathers,’ so that you may be able to settle on the region of Goshen, since all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians (46:33-34).”

Joseph wanted Goshen to be Pharaoh’s idea and offer, not the brothers’ request. Did they really think that the King had not discussed the matter with his viceroy? Why did they not follow Joseph’s directions?

Sojourners live with a dream; the dream of going home. The brothers wanted Pharaoh to know that they were dreamers, just as was Joseph, just as their father, Jacob, and just as he! They came to Egypt as dreamers; dreaming of going home, not of settling in Egypt. They could ask for Goshen because they insisted that they would not be there permanently.

Perhaps Joseph wanted his brothers to finally acknowledge the power of dreams; something against which they had battled for so long. The only way that the family would survive Egypt would be as dreamers.

“We will be as dreamers,” means that we will see that we survived only because we were dreamers.

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes

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.

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17
Apr

One Inch Tall

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

If you were only one inch tall, you’d ride a worm to school.

The teardrop of a crying ant would be your swimming pool.

A crumb of cake would be a feast

And last you seven days at least,

A flea would be a frightening beast

If you were one inch tall.

If you were only one inch tall, you’d walk beneath the door,

And it would take about a month to get down to the store.

A bit of fluff would be your bed,

You’d swing upon a spider’s thread,

And wear a thimble on your head

If you were one inch tall.

You’d surf across the kitchen sink upon a stick of gum.

You couldn’t hug your mama, you’d just have to hug her thumb.

You’d run from people’s feet in fright,

To move a pen would take all night,

(This poem took fourteen years to write–

‘Cause I’m just one inch tall).

Shel Silverstein

Would the Children of Israel have been so easily tricked if they just a little taller? “Since all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians (Genesis 46:34),” were Joseph’s final words before the brothers entered Pharaoh’s throne room. They entered as “One Inch Tall.”

“He descended to Egypt and sojourned there, “bimsei mi-at,” few in number (Devarim 26:5),” as the verse says, “Your ancestors descended into Egypt with seventy souls, and now, God, your Lord, has placed you as the stars in the heavens la-rov, for abundance (10:22).”

We read this paragraph in the Haggadah as a numbers issue: We entered with only seventy souls, and we left as numerous as the stars in the sky. Perhaps the issue is not numbers, but our “size.”

Bimsei mi-at,” with a feeling of being small. “Descended into Egypt with seventy souls,” we “descended” from being souls; it is not the number, but the self image. We could have entered as “Souls,” with a sense of being higher beings, but we lost some of that when we moved to Egypt as strangers, abhorrent to the Egyptians. The entire process of redemption was to be “placed as the stars in the heavens, la-rov,” for greatness. We were transformed from beings who were “one inch tall,” to “stars in the heavens!”

It will only be when we can regain that sense of la-rov, potential greatness, that we will be able to sing the Haggadah as a song of the Final Redemption that can be ours.

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.

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15
Apr

As Explorers

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

I love reading Shir Hashirim, the Song of Songs. I am moved by its poetry and magic. The powerful expressions of love and intimacy between God and Israel give voice to myriads of feelings that arise whenever I pray, study, and serve my Creator.  I can walk inside the poem’s room and feel the walls for a light switch. I want to place my ear against it and listen for its hum. This is a song of discovery.

The Song of Songs, which we will sing next Shabbat, is, for me, the focal point of the choice between first exploring Torah on my own or waiting for the commentaries to guide me by the hand, instructing me in where to look. I love to study Torah’s wisdom on my own and only after my individual exploration examine my insights through the prism of the commentaries. They will always point out what I missed or did not understand. They train me to be a better explorer.

There are times when I feel as if all we do is tie the text to a chair with rope and begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means. I love the commentaries. I treasure their wisdom and guidance because I sense that they too first entered the text as explorers, allowing the words to directly address them before they entered with a guide. I do not want to ever lose the excitement of exploration and discovery. This for me is the freedom expressed in the Haggadah of, “Go out and learn,” as opposed to the usual, “Come and hear,” of the Talmud, and the, “Come and see,” of the Zohar, which I suspect may actually be invitations to “see, or hear WITH the speaker.  It is not surprising that it is only while we celebrate the holiday of freedom that we sing the Song of Songs; its words demand that we begin to probe its mysteries with the freedom of an explorer.

I invite you to explore this holiest of texts on your own before looking for the illuminations of the commentaries. Savor its words and messages. It will train you to be a better explorer of all of Torah and life. It will be as explorers that we will join in this Song of Songs.

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.

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15
Apr

The Rest of The Message

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

One word comes to mind when I read the answers the Haggadah instructs us to give to our children’s questions: ‘lo’.

On October 29, 1969, the message ‘lo’ became the first ever to travel between two computers connected via the ARPANET, the computer network that would become the Internet. The truncated transmission traveled about 400 miles between the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Stanford Research Institute. The electronic dispatch was supposed to be the word “login,” but only the first two letters were successfully sent before the system crashed. Many are convinced that the meaning and efficacy of messages sent via the Internet has been declining ever since.

The Haggadah’s answers are abridged versions of the Torah’s responses, and even the latter leave us wondering, “where is the rest of the message?” How can we respond to a child’s question about the meaning of our observances and life choices with a one-sentence answer? Why does the Haggadah offer these responses when we are about to tell the story of our history that will answer their questions in great detail?

The reason is ‘lo’. That first Internet message may have been truncated but it led to the billions of messages sent each day. That ‘lo’ nourished the growth of all electronic communication. The system crashed. The intended text was savaged, but ‘lo’ was the first seed of all our current messages.

The Haggadah’s responses are the first seeds of a process that will flourish into healthy and substantial communication. They are only the opening salvo in a meaningful conversation.

The Torah and the Haggadah do not intend to offer comprehensive answers to our children’s questions, but to nurture the conversations we should regularly have about our choices and way of life, conversations we cannot afford to avoid. The Haggadah’s responses are meant to convey to the questioners that a conversation is possible; we are willing to discuss these most important issues in our lives. The possibility of a conversation opens the door to questions, and it is only through asking that we become choosers.

The Foundation Stone™ is our ‘lo’, our way of saying that conversations about every issue and question are possible. We thank you for joining in our conversation and we hope that your Pesach is the beginning of fruitful and meaningful conversations about the most precious parts of our lives.

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.

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15
Apr

Haggadah: Yachatz I Rav Kook

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: What’s the next step after Karpas? Yachatz. You break the Matzah in half. So Rav Kook says you need to eat because you need to eat. And there’s another type of eating, eating for spiritual purposes, a free eating, They are both absolutely necessary, in fact unless you eat because you need to eat, your never going to reach s stage to eat on a spiritual level, you need to learn what the food is.

So you break the matzah in half, one side representing eating because you need to eat and the other represents eating with a sense of freedom only because we want to connect to God. One half is open, connected to physical eating which are our needs.

The other we hide, one we eat during the meal and the other we eat in the afikoman. So the matzah in the meal is the necessity, and the other is free from compelling to eat we eat because we want to. That’s why you have to be hungry. With the second one you can’t be full, you’re almost full but it’s not gross to eat it or that its painful to eat.

Rav Kook says the first mitzvah are the people need to eat and the other half is freedom learning to eat as a free person is eating and drinking is a way to connect more and more.

So what are you doing taking matzah and breaking it in half, what is it, physical eating is one half that can destroy the spiritual its only for needs. The only way you can enjoy the other type of eating is if you first learn how to eat. If you eat all the time and you loose the enjoyment of eating as what it could do for me then I’m going to start watching myself to learn how to eat well. So I first need to experience the dissatisfaction of eating just to eat or eating because I’m hungry, I have to learn to live with that and decide that its not enough for me before I can reach the level of eating as a free person. I have to experience slavery in order to experience freedom. You have to know what its like to live with out to really appreciate it. The Jews had to experience slavery before they could understand.

So the Yachatz, and the Karpas culminate and remind us that there’s an idea in creation in the way we live as human beings to first needing to fall so to speak and live at the lower level to eventually understand we have to live at a higher level.

So it take another step, your still eating when you’re at on a spiritual level, but it’s a different kind of eating. Were still slaves even though God has fed us, were Gods slaves, its that were doing the same thing we did before but were doing it in a different way. Were eating in both cases but in the first case were eating in a spiritual non constructive way and then we learn how to eat in a spiritual way. First we were slaves in a non constructive environment and then we learn to be slaves with a sense of freedom.

So really the karpas and yachatz are indication of exactly what was happening in Egypt. We have to fall low in order for us to eventually enjoy freedom. Not only but to also enjoy how to be slaves in freedom.

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.

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15
Apr

Haggadah: Karpas Six: Rav Kook Continued

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: So Rav Kook explains that the most powerful indication of freedom from eating is a vegetable, even more so a vegetable dipped in salt. Why?

Because the Gemara always says that vegetables increase your hunger. So in the house of Rav, whenever they were broke they wouldn’t eat vegetables, because the Gemara says they increase your appetite. It doesn’t fill you up the same way, you something solid inside of you. In Gemara terms they create need more than satisfaction. The need to have constant sustenance.

Therefore if you eat something salty you cant just stop, you need water or something after eating something salty. What do we do, we take a vegetable that’ll make me hungry and take salt which will make me need more. I take the vegetable and dip it in salt and that it. I am so free that even the things that compel me to eat more, I am even free of that. A sense of freedom is in that. That’s Karpas.

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.

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14
Apr

Haggadah: Karpas Five: Rav Kook

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: Rav Kook says, that first you have to understand the difference between the end the goal or the object and the means. Olam Habah is the object our aim, the Means to get there are the mitzvoth. He says this actually happens with food.

Your body burns energy, calories, something you have the calories, your body is burning the calories by using them so you need something that’s going to give you calories, food is calories, your object you need to have that energy that calories can burn, drink is less a source of calories as it is to get enough fluid in your body so that all the calories and nutrition can get into your system and flow. Water’s not a source of calories.

He says its interesting to understand and goes step by step. First of all the only way the object can be good is if the means of achieving the object are good. Lets say I have an object I want to eat food but I steal the food so the means of getting the food is wrong so on a spiritual level the means is evil and therefore the object of it is also not good, I’m not allowed to make a bracha on it. I want to make a sacrifice I love God and want to sacrifice it I steal someone cow, that’s not a sacrifice God hates those sacrifices, you’re means are bad so the object is bad. You drink whisky, that doesn’t help you with your food, its going to burn you up and dry you up , it doesn’t help like water. It’s not only the need that needs to be good its also the inside that needs to be good so it can help. Of course even if the aims are good but the object itself is wrong, but it’s certainly more so wrong.

So lets say I see someone eating a Reese’s peanut butter cup, I don’t need it but I am so jealous that he has it, I don’t need it I’m not hungry, but I want that Reese’s, so why isn’t he sharing it with me? So my will is compelling me to eat that Reese’s even though I don’t need it, I’m being forced by my will. What’s my will? I want what you have. You have one and I want one. So what’s pushing me to eat that thing is a destructive will, I’m being compelled to eat that food. On a spiritual level, since that eating is a result of compulsion and force its not only not nutritious an sustaining you on a spiritual level its hurting you on a spiritual level.

However let’s say I want to eat something not because I’m forced, its not that I’m jealous or starving, or that I Love Reese’s, but I want to enjoy it. God in his unbelievable kindness, compassion and love for me created Reese’s peanut butter cups.  And I want to enjoy one of these greatest things in all of creation because I love God and want to experience it. A banana, I know when I peel a banana and the peel just comes off, and I know what the texture and flavor is like and I can eat it without getting dirty. Its an unbelievable eating, its not because I’m forced to eat it from starvation, jealousy or anything, or my mother is forcing me to eat the banana, I’m eating the banana because I love the banana and I love the feeling the banana gives me. That’s called an entirely spiritual eating.

What’s what you eat on Shabbat? Its what you say on shmoneh esrei. – its giving them a taste of Olam Habah, only if the eating is not an eating of under compulsion.  That means if I’m going to feel I’m forced to eat it I’m not going to enjoy it. Its an eating but not a spiritual eating. What’s Pesach? The time of freedom. So it represents the ability to eat something not out of habit, or because I’m forced to by hunger, or jealousy, or by love of the food, I’m not being compelled by anything inside of me, that’s freedom. Even if eating.

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.

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12
Apr

Haggadah: Karpas Four: The Ishbitzer Continued

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed and prepared by Anna Beller: The Ishbitzer says this is why you do Karpas with the vegetables. First of all you recreate what God did to the Jews, He gives you the light that you haven’t acquired on your own that you will make your won but has to be given to you first. The idea of sitting at the pesach table is that you’re striving but the only way you can reach the next stage is something that something isn’t your own yet, you don’t have it at all and what you earned from God is that He gives you what isn’t your own so that over the process of the seder you can make it your own.

You hear a nice thought on something you need to put it in your mindset so you can use it in the seder. So what are you doing with Karpas, you’re at vegetables because your striving for something that isn’t yours yet, you want more than what you have reached on your own. I want you to give it to me the same way a vegetable can only get it because You give it to them. I want You to give me something just as they did when they left Egypt. When You gave them the first mitzvah of matzah and Pesach. I am giving you influence of freedom now take it and use it, give the Karban Pesach.  That freedom is that I have the capacity what Hashem has given me and make it my own. So now you have two thought from the Ishpitzer, they’re very practical.

The two cups of wine, to dream what freedom will be, you know you’re not free but you dream of what it will be like. A lot of people who already people who have it don’t enjoy it as much as those who have it. It’s the difference between a baal-teshuvah and a tzadik, he had or never had. A baal-tshuvah has lost or never had it. And by dreaming about it he can reach for it. Which is why it says what a Baal-teshuvah says is greater than what a Tzadik says.  So when I’m drinking the first 2 cups of wine I understand I’m not a tzadick yet, I want to be a baal teshuvah, reach something and dream what I could be like and use my potential, fantasize about my possibilities. Imagine what it’d be like to be everything I’d like to be. And now that I don’t have it, it could be so much more. Part of the seder is to sense your vulnerability, as long as your in exile your vulnerable to other influences and to lose your desire to live in Israel. There are more Jews visiting Europe or Florida than visit Israel. More Israelis coming to the US than these making aliyah. So we are vulnerable. Part of what your doing in the seder is experiencing your vulnerability so we can dream about what it would be like to be free, free not of exile but external influences which are destructive. So it’s worth while to think before the seder what’s happening to me that are not things I want that are results of this.

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.

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12
Apr

Haggadah: Karpas Three: The Ishbitzer Continued

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed and Prepared by Anna Beller: The Ishbitzer says this is really what a person has, a person has the capacity to achieve for many ways for learning wisdom, that he can begin to appreciate and absorb the light of God even more.

However it’s important you understand that you don’t reach for too much before you’re ready, because if you reach for too much with something you’re not ready for you cant make it your own. If it’s beyond you entirely you can’t make it your won. Because it’ll be totally dependent to God giving it to you. Because you can’t relate to it and it won’t last. You have to make your goals achievable.

So therefore he says like this, the chachamim advise us not to reach for more than what were capable to reaching at any point. Even at a place where a person can’t do it on his won, he asks for help, and recognizes he can no longer to do it on his own, he asks God for something, he reached that point. It says that at any place a person can reach, even a place a person can reach the service of God, God won’t open His light at one time but slowly he’ll expose more and more so that at the stages he is able to acquire.

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.

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11
Apr

Haggadah: Karpas II: The Ishbitzer Continued

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Transcribed by Anna Beller: Basic idea of the fruit the planting corresponds to the Torah you learn, and the rain and care it needs to help its original planting means that as a person changes, a person has certain weaknesses Hashem needs to help him with it specifically. But it’s a different kind of help, its not replanting its helping you use what you already were given and what you took from the Torah originally.

What about vegetables? Since it needs to be replanted and re-taught. If you don’t feed it, the vegetable is dead. Once it’s dead its dead, in no way does it represent the original light it had, its original plant unless its constantly cared for. It can’t in itself draw continued sustenance. It’s not like a fruit.

So he says like this, therefore vegetables in the words of Chazzal are always referred to as the food of beasts. For example when God kicked Adam and Chavah out of the garden now he had to eat vegetables instead of fruit, he had to work the ground, which means vegetables. Fruit don’t need to be worked all the time. So he says I and my donkey should eat out of one plate? In other words he felt that he was being treated as an animal.

So you see the words of Chazzal, vegetables represent a lower level of existence. Which is what the Ari said, it’s the mother, the mother who’s the womb, but its small not as significant or as powerful as a fruit tree. So he says vegetables are the food of animals, so it’s an indication of not being at the higher level a person can be.

It’s also true of kedusha that Hashem puts into the heart of a person and lets a person go. It’s like kedusha I haven’t gained through my own work. Or Kedusha that I haven’t gained through my own learning, its sanctity that God gave to me without my work. God feels that for me to be able to work on it he needs to give me an advantage to take it further but its not really me.

The Ishbitzer says when you compare this it’s like comparing a vegetable to a fruit, since this spiritual fruit is not something I earned on my own. I need God’s nurturing since it’s not something I earned on my own. So a vegetable represents a divine influence that needs to be constant it isn’t something I made my own therefore God withholds the influence from me nothing is going be left.

Vegetable is really a hint for the redemption from Egypt. Because the Zohar says the old one depends, because the whole things happened not at the right time, we were redeemed before the time, we were redeemed because we had fallen as low as possible, we hadn’t learned anything. We spoke about this before: when we start the process, we stimulate things from our position, or when God begins a process from above, instigated from what’s above. The exodus from Egypt we were on the 49th level of impurity, we weren’t able to do anything on our own. The process had to be initiated by God. So on this night the light of God comes down and becomes influence, and if the light would shine incompletely we could literally break any physical drives any connections to our bodies at all. And even more so if we can take advantage of this moment we can make it our own. Not just that God’s giving us this light but that we can use it.

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.

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