#BlogElul 20 – Judge

Monday, August 26th, 2013

blogelul

#BlogElul

“Baby, don’t judge me.” G-d knows I’m not a Chris Brown fan, but how much more Millennial can you get? (more…)

#blogExodus – Being

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m posting this on the first day of Chol Hamo’ed instead of on the eve of the holiday, as planned. There was no computer time on Monday. (more…)

#blogExodus – Changing

Sunday, March 24th, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

This will be a very short blog post, because today I am changing my kitchen over. (more…)

#blogExodus – Redeeming

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

The Passover Haggadah tells us that the redemption from Egypt did not only happen to our ancestors, but to us, personally. Just as the Sages tell us that we, personally, stood at Sinai when the Torah was given, so the Talmud says:

בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים

“In each and every generation a person is obliged to regard himself as if he had come out of Egypt.”

(more…)

#blogExodus – Counting

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

The interesting thing about this prompt is that the counting is not part of the Seder or its preparations. When we think about Passover, the big production tends to be the focus. But not only does the holiday itself run for seven days (eight outside Israel), it continues with the counting of the Omer, or sheaves of barley, for forty nine days, concluding with the much-neglected holiday of Shavu’ot. (more…)

#blogExodus – Leaving

Thursday, March 21st, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which means the Narrow Place. It’s also the same root as the word for labour pains. Birth imagery has been associated with Passover from the beginning, with the explicit mention of the month of Aviv, or spring in the Torah. The Sages refer to the splitting of the Red Sea as “kri’ah”, or tearing, which is an odd word to use for a body of water. They liken it explicitly to the opening of the birth canal to allow the passage of a child’s head. (more…)

#blogExodus – Asking

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

Why is this night different from all other nights? The youngest person present at the Seder has been asking that question for millennia. (more…)

#blogExodus – Learning

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

Passover, as such, is not particularly associated with learning. The next Pilgrimage Holiday in the calendar, Shavu’ot, commemorates the giving of the Torah and is celebrated by learning, traditionally all night. But on Passover we are primarily occupied with doing and telling, not so much by learning. (more…)

#blogExodus – Blessing

Monday, March 18th, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

This prompt is interesting to me because it is actually quite difficult. While Passover has the usual blessings for a holiday (on candles, wine, handwashing, bread or Matzah in this case, the Shehechiyanu for a new experience), I can’t, offhand, think of any particular blessing that is special to Passover. The entire holiday is one big blessing, if you will, of thanksgiving for our redemption from Egypt. (more…)

#blogExodus – Cleaning

Sunday, March 17th, 2013
#blogExodus prompts

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s #blogExodus prompts

I have to confess that house cleaning is not one of my favourite activities at the best of times. I have friends who find catharsis and calm in cleaning, but so far I have not been able to get into that zone. (more…)