Pesach

The sword outstretched over the Jewish people.

An “outstretched arm” is the sword, as it says “and his sword was unsheathed in hand, outstretched over yerushalayim” (Divrei Hayamim 1 21:16) Another way of understanding this Drash is that just like the sword threatening Yerushalayim, there was also a ‘sword’ in Egypt threatening the Jewish people with destruction. Moshe told Pharoah at the…

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The answer to the Ma nishtana

A young child asks about a number of strange changes we make at the Seder? We answer by explaining that “we were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt, and Hashem took us out from there”. But how does this explain why we make changes? An ancient Yemenite commentary explains. A slave lacks choice, by doing things…

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A retroactive invitation

At the beginning of the Seder we invite those in need to join us in eating Matza and the rest of the Seder. But what kind of invitation is this? Its a bit late to be inviting people to the Seder, and besides if we say it at our house no one is going to…

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Eruv – A new view of private property

One is not allowed to carry on Shabbat between a “public domain” and a “private domain”. However, the definition of these domains is counterintuitive. A private domain is defined be being enclosed by walls, even if used by many people. Even a whole city can be a private domain if it is enclosed by walls…

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What is the color of the moon?

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap201111.html A beautiful reminder that color does not exist in things, but rather in our interaction with things. We don’t see the moon, we see the light reflected from it as filtered in a variety of ways in the atmosphere.Thus it is sometimes gray, sometimes white or yellow. And sometimes orange or even blue.