GOOD MORNING! Here is one additional enhancement for the Pesach Seder experience - for you, your family and your guests! My colleague and friend, Rabbi Stephen Baars, created the "Freedom Game" to enable a lively discussion during the Seder Meal. Just give everyone a copy of the list - and keep the explanation at the bottom for yourself to guide the discussion!
And when the people at your Seder turn to you after discussing the Freedom Game and ask, "So, nu, what's the answer?" what are you going to tell them? Here are a few thoughts:
Like all good discussions, we start with a definition. "Free" means not having outside control over your actions, thoughts, behavior. There are different levels of freedom: (1) The freedom over physical actions - where you go, what you do. (2) The freedom over what you think about. 3) The freedom to make moral decisions. Deciding whether you are going to have chocolate or vanilla ice cream is not on the same level as deciding whether or not to return a lost wallet.
Perhaps the question of who is the free-est depends on which "playing board" the person is on. Moral decisions are a lot more difficult to make than physical ones. With physical decisions where one is enslaved, there is no choice because of physical restraint. With moral decisions, the "outside force" is one's desires and ability to rationalize.
Pirkei Avot, Ethics of Our Fathers (6 chapters of succinct wisdom found in the back of most siddurim, prayer books) asks, "Who is the mighty person?" and answers, "He who conquers his passions." The free-est person is the one who controls his passions and his desires in order to make moral decisions.
For more on "Passover" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!
Torah Portion of the Week
This week's Torah portion includes the laws of: the Burnt Offering, Meal Offering, High Priest's Offering, Sin Offerings, Guilt Offerings and Peace Offerings. It concludes with the portions of the Peace Offerings which are allotted to the Priests and the installation ceremony of the Priest for serving in the Sanctuary.
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based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah states:
"And Aharon and his sons did all the things which the Almighty commanded through Moshe" (Leviticus 8:36).
Why does the Torah tell us this? In truth, it would be unusual if they didn't do what the Almighty commanded; if they didn't, then the Torah would have told us!
Rashi comments that this verse praises Aharon and his sons for "not turning to the right or left." How does this help our understanding of the verse? What is Rashi elucidating from the verse?
The Ksav Sofer writes that there are some people who are inwardly very conceited, but outwardly try to act as if they were humble. Therefore, when they receive some honor they shrug their shoulders to the right and to the left to give others the impression that they are so humble that they do not feel that they deserve the honor bestowed upon them. However, in their hearts they are really very arrogant. This can be one understanding of Rashi's words: "they did not turn (their shoulders) right or left." While inwardly they were truly humble they did not try to give others the impression that they were humble.
True humility is a knowledge of your capabilities, intelligence and accomplishments - and an appreciation that ultimately they are all a gift from the Almighty.
CANDLE LIGHTING - March 26
(or go to http://www.aish.com/sh/c/)
Guatemala 5:56 - Hong Kong 6:18 - Honolulu 6:26
J'Burg 5:57 - London 6:05 - Los Angeles 6:51
Melbourne 7:06 - Mexico City 6:31 - Miami 7:16
New York 6:56 - Singapore 6:58 - Toronto 7:18
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Freedom is actually a bigger game than power.
Power is about what you can control.
Freedom is about what you can unleash.
-- Harriet Rubin
With Deep Appreciation to
Dr. and Mrs. Shahin Sadik
Rabbi Kalman Packouz
Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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