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GOOD MORNING! The Seders are Saturday night, April 19th and Sunday night, April 20th.
About two weeks until Pesach and counting ... It's time to give some thought to making the Seder more enjoyable and effective in creating a warm family experience. Most Jews would like their children to feel positively about being Jewish. You cannot transfer your feelings, but you can create the atmosphere and the experience which will engender positive feelings. Anyone I have ever met who loved being Jewish, fondly reminisced about their Zaideh (grandfather) presiding over the Shabbat table or their Bubbie (grandmother) lighting Shabbat candles ... and their Seder! You are a link in that chain!
Please check out http://www.SimchatYechiel.org/pesach.html for some fresh ideas for your Seder - especially for the kids: games, questions, charades, marshmallow bingo, treasure hunt ... Also, http://www.Aish.com/passoverhttp://www.AishAudio.com! For tremendous understanding and intelligent insights for the Seder, call Talmudic University 305-534-7050 to get a free copy of Rabbi Yochanan Zweig's Pesach Seder Cards. Lastly, http://www.kiruv.com/ for Aish's Project Inspire Passover Seder Game and fascinating Pesach facts.
Q & A: HOW DO I MAKE MY SEDER ENJOYABLE, CREATIVE AND MEANINGFUL?
Remember that the Seder is for the kids, to transmit our history and understanding of life. You've got to make it interesting and intrigue them to ask questions. If a person asks a question, he'll be inclined to hear the answer! The only way to transmit your love and feeling for Judaism is through shared, positive experiences. You need to be excited about the Seder! Some ideas from Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf:
- Invest time before the Seder. Invest time before the Seder. Trade in your Maxwell House Haggadah for one with commentary. Then read it! See what intrigues you. Look at a commentary to get interesting insights to share with your family and guests. Look at the Passover Survival Kit Haggadah, Artscroll Haggadahs and Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov. Available at your local Jewish bookstore, at http://www.judaicaenterprises.com or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242. NO EXCUSES!
- Get Passover story books for the kids now! Read to them the stories before Pesach. Have them or help them make a little play to present at the Seder. Buy them Artscroll Children's Haggadah!
- Have quizzes and prizes. Ask questions and give 20 points for a right answer. 100 points and they get a prize! Start with the youngest and work up through the ages. If a child answers a question that's not his, he loses 20 points! Name the plagues, the 4 sons, the number of years in slavery - make your list of questions before the Seder. (You can even prep the kids before the Seder with the answers!)
- Plan out the Seder with little surprises and props. During the section on the plagues throw into the air plastic animals when you get to the Wild Beasts; use ping pong balls for the plague of Hail. Be creative. Give each child a brown paper bag filled with his props. Have fun! (You can also order the "Bag of Plagues" props available at your local Jewish bookstore, at http://www.judaicaenterprises.com or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242).
- Have questions for discussion at the table! Passover marks the birth of the Jewish people. It's a time to reflect on the meaning, value and implications of being Jewish. Here are some questions to discuss:
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is being Jewish to you? Please explain.
- If your son, daughter, brother, sister, or best friend told you that they planned to raise their children without any Jewish education or identity, how would you react?
- If you thought the existence of Israel was in danger, would you risk your life to help save it?
- What do you like about being Jewish? What don't you like?
- Is it important to you or for your children to have mostly Jewish friends? Why?
For more on "Passover" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!
Torah Portion of the Week
The Torah continues with the laws of physical and spiritual purity. The focus of this portion is upon tzora'as, a supernatural physical affliction sent to warn someone to refrain from speaking badly about others. The disease progressively afflicted home, clothes and then one's skin -unless the individual corrected his ways and followed the purification process stated in the Torah.
There are two types of speech transgressions: (1) Loshon Hora (literally "evil tongue")- making a derogatory or damaging statement about someone even though you are speaking the truth. (2) Rechilus (literally "tale bearing") - telling someone the negative things another person said about him or did against him. Check out http://www.ChofetzChaimUSA.org for daily lessons in Shmirat HaLoshon, proper speech - or call 866-593-8399 for books and tapes! For more, search "Loshon Hora" at Aish.com ...
This week's portion continues with the purification process for the metzora, the person afflicted with tzora'as and then the home afflicted with tzora'as. The portion ends with the purification process for discharges from the flesh.
* * *
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states regarding finding Tzora'as on one's home:
"And he that owns the house shall come and tell the Cohen, saying, 'It seems to me as if there is a plague in the house.' " (Leviticus 14:35)
Why does the Torah tell us that he should say, "It seems to me" rather than "there is" tzora'as?
Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz notes that there is very little difference between "it is" and "it appears as if." In any event, it depends upon a Cohen to come and make the determination of whether or not the house is afflicted with tzora'as. However, the Torah is teaching us a practical lesson on how we should speak.
People think that what they are saying is correct, but often make mistakes because of wrong information or faulty perception. By recognizing this reality about ourselves and then prefacing our statements with "It seems to me," it is easier to concede that someone else is correct. Also, it makes it easier for others to agree with you! It facilitates communication and finding truth.
Hundreds of families in Israel are unable to afford groceries for Yom Tov (the holiday). This group gives them coupons redeemable only for food. They arrange with the supermarket to get an extra 10% on every dollar you give them. I know they are legitimate and I give them money! Send your tax-deductible contribution to:
CANDLE LIGHTING - April 11
(or go to http://www.aish.com/shabbat/candlelighting.asp)
Guatemala 5:57 - Hong Kong 6:23 - Honolulu 6:31
J'Burg 5:37 - London 6:32 - Los Angeles 7:04
Melbourne 5:42 - Mexico City 6:34 - Miami 7:25
New York 7:14 - Singapore 6:57 - Toronto 7:39
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
When you teach your child,
you teach your child's child.
-- The Talmud
In Honor of
Eric & Coral Beare