Pesach
Passover

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and

Chag HaMatzah
Festival of Unleavened Bread

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Nisan 15 – 22, 5782
April 16 – 23, 2022

Begins 18 minutes before sundown, Friday Apr. 15
Ends 72 minutes after sundown, Saturday Apr. 23

Readings
(Diaspora)

Ex. 12:21–51
Num. 28:16–25
Josh. 3:5–7, 5:2–6:1, 6:27

Day 2

Lev. 22:26 – 23:44
Num. 28:16–25
II Kings 23:1–9, 21–25

Day 3

Ex. 13:1–16
Num. 28:19-25

Ex. 22:24 – 23:19
Num. 28:19-25

Ex. 34:1–26
Num. 28:19–25

Num. 9:1–14
Num. 28:19–25

Ex. 13:17 – 15:26
Num. 28:19–25
II Samuel 22:1–51

Day 8 (Shabbos)

Deut. 14:22 – 16:17
Num. 28:19–25
Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6

“... In the first month on the fourteenth of the month between the evenings is the Pesach-offering to Hashem.  And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Matzos to Hashem: seven days you shall eat matzos.  On the first day there shall be a holy convocation for you; every kind of service-work you shall not do.  And you shall bring near a fire-offering to Hashem for seven days; on the seventh day is a holy convocation; every kind of service-work you shall not do."

Leviticus 23:5–8

Shalom, dearly beloved ones

There is a song which is sung in many communities as Shabbos approaches, called Yedid Nefesh.  It does not directly reference the coming holy day; instead, it is nothing less than a love poem spoken directly to G-d.  "Beloved of my soul, Father of mercies, draw Your servant toward Your will."  G-d is addressed throughout as "beloved", "darling", "dear one" and "lover".

On the Shabbos which falls during Pesach (this year, on the 8th day of Pesach), the Song of Songs is customarily read.  Rather than focusing on the seemingly sensual tone of the book and its significance within married life, our sages expound the entire book in its metaphorical sense, as an allegory detailing the passionate and sometimes tempestuous relationship between G-d and His bride, Israel.  It too contains such declarations as "Draw me; we will run after You." (Song 1:4)

Speaking of the time of spring and the Pesach season (and according to our sages, specifically referring to the events of the Exodus from Egypt), the Song reads:

"My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!  For, lo! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;  The flowers appear on the earth; the time of birdsong is come, and the voice of the dove is heard in our land;  The fig tree ripens her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give forth a fragrance.  Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." (Song 2:10-13)

The prophet Jeremiah paints the image of the Exodus in similar 'honeymoon' terms:

"Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said Hashem: – I remember about you the steadfast devotion of your youth, the love of your bridal days, how you walked after Me into the wilderness, into a land that was not sown." (Jeremiah 2:2)

And in Ezekiel, in a parable in which Israel is depicted as an abandoned infant child rescued and raised to womanhood by G-d:

"And I passed by you and saw you, and behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my robe's corner over you and covered your nakedness: and I swore an oath unto you, and I entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord Hashem, and you became Mine." (Ezekiel 16:8)

Love underlies the whole account of the Exodus story:

“Not because ye were more in number than any people did Hashem set His affection upon you and choose you; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because Hashem loved you, and because He wished to keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, has Hashem brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)

Yet Pesach is not just about a passive release from slavery. It is about the beginning of a relationship – and a relationship requires two. The chassidic masters say that if G-d reaches down from Above and intervenes in history and performs mighty miracles, it can change the world, but it won’t necessarily change the human heart. If people choose not to believe, then even a man rising from the dead would not convince them (see Luke 16:31). On the other hand, if people reach out toward G-d, we can be sure that their overture will undoubtedly be met with an answer from Heaven. “Hashem is near unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18) We are instructed, "Draw near to G-d, and He will draw near to you." (Jacob [James] 4:8)

So who takes the initiative in this love story?  Does it begin with Israel's love for G-d, or G-d's love for Israel? Ultimately, Song of Songs 1:4 tells us who takes the initial step: G-d draws us, and then we run after Him. He stirs up our hearts to seek His face, and then He answers. If we are calling to Him, it is because He was calling to us.

Or as it was written elsewhere,
"We love him, because he first loved us." (1st Yochanan [John] 4:19)

Yes, our response is essential. He offers to us the gift of a relationship with Him, but He leaves it to us to accept or reject it. He holds out in His hand salvation for the whole world, but only those who receive it from His hand will possess it. He writes the check, but we have to trust Him enough to cash it, so to speak, or we derive no benefit from it.

But above and beyond it all, the ability to choose is itself a gift. It is due to His kindness that we have been given a mind and heart to understand and make a choice. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, Hashem made even both of them.” (Proverbs 20:12)

He has taken the initiative. It is ours to respond, and to make the choice that will truly bring this relationship into being:

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: To love Hashem your G-d, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him: for He is your life, and the length of your days…” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Chag Sameyach.

Holiday Learning Resources

NEW for Passover
A JewishEyes Study Haggadah

Copyright © John Smith, All Rights Reserved.
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Each year on Passover, Jews around the world re-enact the experience of the ancient Israelites in Egypt, and envision ourselves embarking on our own Exodus. The ceremonial meal known as the Pesach seder contains many symbolic foods and customs which help us to put ourselves in the shoes of our forefathers and experience the Exodus night for ourselves.

But in many communities today, we also remember something else. We look back to a seder meal that took place 2,000 years ago, which a rabbi named Y’shua from the town of Ne’tzeres held with His twelve closest students in Jerusalem, in one of His last acts before His death. At that time, He told them, “I have greatly longed to eat this Pesach with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15). He told them that the various parts of the seder represented the sacrifice He was about to undergo, and He instructed that every Pesach celebration thereafter should have an additional meaning: “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Just as the sacrifice of the Pesach-lamb was the means of our being freed from Egypt, the sacrifice of the Messiah was the means of our being freed from the slavery of sin.

Read along with us as we retell the ancient tale once again, seeking to see it from a fresh perspective and gain a more full understanding of the Festival of our Freedom.
72 Pages
Read along with us as we retell the ancient tale once again, seeking to see it from a fresh perspective, and gain a more full understanding of the Festival of our Freedom.

Read More

Stacks Image 4626020
Each year on Passover, Jews around the world re-enact the experience of the ancient Israelites in Egypt, and envision ourselves embarking on our own Exodus. The ceremonial meal known as the Pesach seder contains many symbolic foods and customs which help us to put ourselves in the shoes of our forefathers and experience the Exodus night for ourselves.

But in many communities today, we also remember something else. We look back to a seder meal that took place 2,000 years ago, which a rabbi named Y’shua from the town of Ne’tzeres held with His twelve closest students in Jerusalem, in one of His last acts before His death. At that time, He told them, “I have greatly longed to eat this Pesach with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15). He told them that the various parts of the seder represented the sacrifice He was about to undergo, and He instructed that every Pesach celebration thereafter should have an additional meaning: “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Just as the sacrifice of the Pesach-lamb was the means of our being freed from Egypt, the sacrifice of the Messiah was the means of our being freed from the slavery of sin.

Read along with us as we retell the ancient tale once again, seeking to see it from a fresh perspective and gain a more full understanding of the Festival of our Freedom.
72 Pages
$5.00

Passover and the Jewish Wedding

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Series: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
Lesson: 4 of 16
Length: 1 hr, 28 min

Audio Download

$1.99

DOWNLOAD LICENSE
By downloading this product, you agree that it licenses you to burn one set of this series onto the medium of your choice and additionally to keep one copy on your hard drive as a backup.  Additional copies are not permitted without written authorization. Unauthorized reproduction and/or distribution is a violation of the eighth commandment.

Is There a Counterfeit Passover?

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Series: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
Lesson: 5 of 16
Length: 1 hr, 2 min

Audio Download

$1.99

DOWNLOAD LICENSE
By downloading this product, you agree that it licenses you to burn one set of this series onto the medium of your choice and additionally to keep one copy on your hard drive as a backup.  Additional copies are not permitted without written authorization. Unauthorized reproduction and/or distribution is a violation of the eighth commandment.

First Fruits and Counting the Omer

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Series: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
Lesson: 6 of 16
Length: 1 hr, 14 min

Audio Download

$1.99

DOWNLOAD LICENSE
By downloading this product, you agree that it licenses you to burn one set of this series onto the medium of your choice and additionally to keep one copy on your hard drive as a backup.  Additional copies are not permitted without written authorization. Unauthorized reproduction and/or distribution is a violation of the eighth commandment.

Passover Perspectives
Three Historical Redemptions

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Join us as we examine redemption in the Passover holiday from three different time eras:

  • The Exodus from Egypt 3,500 years ago
  • A second Exodus 2,000 years ago
  • A third Exodus yet to come
This lesson takes over where other Passover teachings leave off, by comparing the parallels in each time period where the theme of release from slavery is revisited.

Recording Date: 2007
Length: 2 hrs

Video DVD

$9.99

Passover Pictures
A Seder Demonstration

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A new and exciting way to see G-d's plan of salvation come to pass. A journey through several stories from the Bible which result in a breathtaking view of the messianic portrait painted by the Creator (blessed be He).

This lesson and seder demonstration, recorded before a live audience, approaches Passover from a fresh perspective. It also builds a beginner's foundation for understanding Passover and makes a great gift.

Recording Date: 2008
Length: 2 hrs

Video DVD

$9.99
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