Torah Tidbits

New Beginnings, Passover Tips and Recipes…!      featured-rabbi
Shabbat Parashat Tazria
Shabbat HaChodesh
Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh
March 29, 2014 – 27 Adar II 5774

New Beginnings, Passover Tips and Recipes…!

Parsha, Tazria, touches on new beginnings.  It speaks of rituals surrounding childbirth, as well as of circumcision. It teaches about various physical and spiritual ailments and invites us to contemplate the ways in which we can promote their eventual healing.

In addition, our special reading on this Shabbat (HaChodesh) marks the beginning of the month of Nissan.  If Nissan is just around the corner, can Spring be far behind?!  I certainly hope not!

Nissan is a month of hope and of redemption. It is a month replete with symbolism of spiritual and temporal new beginnings.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan will be celebrated on Monday night and Tuesday of this coming week and Passover will be celebrated just two weeks later.  As we prepare to retell the ancient story of the Exodus, we will also seek to uncover its resonance in our lives today!

We know that new beginnings can be exciting and invigorating.  But, they are often also anxiety producing.   In order to reduce some of the anxiety we may have in regard to Passover preparations, I include in this week’s Tidbits some Passover Tips for observing a traditional holiday.  Read them, below, and enjoy!

And, for those of us who are interested in new and exciting Passover recipes, just click on this link

to see Hadassah Magazine’s article on interesting Passover recipes, including gluten free recipes!  Enjoy that as well!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror

Pesach Tips 5774

Following are some tips on traditional Passover observances:

Sunday Evening, April 13 –

Bedikat Hametz – (Search for leaven): This is customarily done on the night before Passover immediately after sunset.

This ritual is especially effective and enjoyable for children…This is what we do:

a) Make sure all Hametz has been removed or locked away, with the exception of     what will be needed for the morning for early breakfast…

b)      Place several pieces of bread (of visible size) in various locations throughout the house.

c) Make the following blessing: Baruch ata Adonai, eloheynu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al biur Hametz.  Then, proceed (traditionally with lighted candle, feather or brush and a paper bag, box, or cloth for the bread collected) to look for any leaven that may be found in the house.

d) After all the bread pieces are found and gathered, make the following declaration: “All manner of leaven that is in my possession which I have not seen or have not removed, or have no knowledge of, shall be null and disowned as the dust of the earth.”

Monday Morning – April 14 –

Ta’anit Bekhorim (Fast of the Firstborn) – This daytime fast applies to the firstborn of either a mother or father.  If you participate in a siyyum, completion of study of a tractate of rabbinic literature, this may be followed by a se’udat mitavah, a meal accompanying the performance of a mitzvah.  Here, the performance of the mitzvah is the completion of study.  All firstborn in attendance at a siyyum are then permitted to eat!

Biur Hametz(Disposal of the Hametz) -The container of hametz, gathered the evening before, is to be burned.  The burning of the hamtez should be completed by the fifth hour after sunrise.  If burning is not a safe option, other methods of ridding ourselves of the hametz are also acceptable (e.g. crumbling and scattering it to the wind, disposing of it in a public waste receptacle), No blessing is recited. However, a slightly modified version of the formula for nullification of hametz is recited, as follows: “Any leaven that may still be in the house, which I have or have not seen, which I have or have not removed, shall be as if it does not exist, and as the dust of the earth.”

Preparation for Yom Tov (festival day):

On Yom Tov, kindling a new fire is not permitted; however, the use of an existing fire for cooking or other purposes is permitted.

To allow you to light candles for the second day of Yom Tov (Tuesday night) ensure you have a fire burning before candle-lighting time of the first day (Monday) that will continue to burn until after dark on Tuesday. A pilot light or a long-burning (25-hour-plus) candle may be used for this purpose.  During Yom Tov, one can light successive candles by transferring the flame.

On both Monday and Tuesday nights, when lighting the candles, we recite the blessings: “Barukh Attah Adonai eloheynu melekh ha-olam asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Yom Tov” and “…Shehecheyanu…”

On Monday night the candles are lit before sundown.  On Tuesday night the candles are lit at least 25 minutes after sunset, by transferring the fire from an existing flame.

Most importantly, have a wonderful, happy, healthy and kosher Pesah and may this year be a year of true redemption and peace for us and for all of Israel and for all peoples everywhere!

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy and Kosher Passover!