[Vacation Notice] Spread Light In Dark Times And Have A Happy And Meaningful Passover!

People lined up to wrap Tefilin at the site of the Nova music festival
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The Jewish holiday of Pesach begins tonight and runs through April 30th. Site updates will resume on May 1st.

It hasn’t been an easy time for the Jewish people. On Simchas Torah, the culmination of the last major Jewish holiday 6 months ago, we saw the most deadly day for Jews since the Holocaust.

And before any of the 1,200+ murdered Jews were buried, virulently anti-Semitic protests popped up around the world’s major cities and college campuses. Social media trolls have continually attacked Jewish accounts from day 1. We have gone from trauma to trauma.

I would love to know if these commenters are real people or bots paid for by a foreign actor.

There were calls for a ceasefire even before Israel responded. That ignored the reality that there already had been a ceasefire on 10/6. Yes, we care about all human lives. But Israel has a sovereign obligation to eradicate such evil, the likes of which the world has never seen before, from its borders.

My youngest brother just came home from Columbia University, where he is a first year law student. You can imagine how happy he is to be away from the horrific anti-Semitic protests targeting Jewish students that have been going on there since October 7th, where Chabad had to hire security staff just to get students to and from the Passover Seders safely.

Scary times indeed.

In my Shul this past week, I spoke about the original Shabbas Hagadol, when the firstborn Egyptians fought a bloody civil war for the Jews to be released from slavery. Sure, it was for self-serving reasons, so that they wouldn’t die in a plague. But it still represented the strongest faction of one of the most corrupt societies in history taking up arms to protect Jews.

That is darkness being transformed into light.

I tied that together with the hundreds of missiles and drones fired from Iran that very same week, 99% of which were brought down by Israel and allies ranging from the US to the UK and from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia? Countries that fought bloody wars with Israel, were now protecting Israel by shooting down incoming fire from Iran?

Sure, it was for self-serving reasons, but it still represents an incredible darkness being transformed into light.

In another time, those missiles could have killed thousands, but not one person died.  That is light in dark times.

3 weeks ago I spent several days in the Gaza Envelope cities. We heard stories from survivors of October 7th and put on tefilin with people who lined up at the site of the Nova music festival to wrap and pray in them for the first time in their lives. We saw endless rows of burned out cars and the bomb shelter where Aner Shapira threw out 7 grenades to protect dozens of people inside, before returning his soul to his creator when the 8th exploded in his hands.

We made a BBQ for soldiers who had just served, working to eradicate Hamas in Gaza and I had the merit to visit several army bases distributing tefilin to soldiers from our DansDeals tefilin campaign organized after October 7th. We also had shmura matzah as well as packages of Shabbos candles with chocolates and perfume for female soldiers. It was truly an emotional roller coaster of a trip, but speaking to soldiers who were so excited to receive their first ever pair of tefilin, to pray with daily, was incredibly uplifting.

Distributing some of the Tefilin directly to soldiers who have committed to wearing them daily at Zikim base:


At Ugdat Aza base:


And at Mishmar HaNegev base:


You can still donate to our campaigns for Tefillin for Soldiers and Tefillin for Civilians.

You can watch some of the Instagram stories from the trip if you are logged into Instagram on your phone here.

The most popular items that all of the soldiers wanted on every base we visited? Moshiach army patches that they could wear on their uniform. Moshiach times indeed!

Rocking the Moshiach patch while taking a breather at Tzomet Shuva:


In the bomb shelter that we visited near the Nova music festival site, Hersh Goldberg-Polin lost his arm and was taken captive to Gaza. The air inside the shelter felt so thick that it was to breath or stand in there for more than a few moments.

Hersh’s mother, Rachel, shares a D’var Torah that she heard from Dovid Bashevkin about the meaning of Karpas, when we dip a vegetable into salt water at the Passover Seder. 

In short, Karpas represents the dipping of Joseph’s coat into goat’s blood, when his brothers wanted their father Jacob to think he was killed by an animal. That was the beginning of the Exodus story, and is in the beginning of the Seder. The darkest part, before the story of redemption and going free, when darkness is transformed into light.


Jacob would never be consoled, because consolation is only for those who mourn the dead, not for those alive. Let us pray that Hersh Goldberg-Polin’s parents can’t be consoled and have been incredible advocates for him because he too is still alive and will be reunited with them very soon, along with all of the other hostages.


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Pesach is traditionally associated with celebrating our freedom along with family and guests, and I’m thrilled to be back to hosting some 2 dozen people for the Seder tonight.

We visited Hostage Square in Tel Aviv, with its endless empty seats at a Shabbos table for the hostages. I broke down crying upon seeing the high chairs for the Bibas kids. But as said by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who would have turned 122 earlier this week, the point of the Seder is to bring another guest to your Seder and not just have an extra empty chair. So find someone you can invite to your Seder and share the light!

Or in his sage words,


Whether you’re enjoying Pesach at home, with family, or at a Pesach program, may it be meaningful and joyous. I know I’m looking forward to eating Shmura Matzah, drinking cups of fine wine, and spending lots of quality offline time with friends and family.

But at the same time, let us keep Eretz Yisroel and its inhabitants in our prayers, and may all of the hostages be freed, during this Festival of our Freedom, and may it be the ultimate and final Festival of our Freedom, when we will have true peace on Earth.

With prayers for a kosher, happy, healthy, and safe Pesach, and happy holidays to all.

-Dan and JJ

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23 Comments On "[Vacation Notice] Spread Light In Dark Times And Have A Happy And Meaningful Passover!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Happy Passover


Thanks for all what Dan and jj does for am yisroel. Gut Yom tov and to only hear good news and simchos and yeshous by all

Ed Klar

Thanks Dan and JJ for all you do. Chag kasher v’sameach.

Stan Rutstein

Thanx Dan & JJ for enhancing the beauty of our chag. You have helped us bring family together and visit our children/grandchildren! Continued haltzlacha in all the chessed you do!


May the festival of freedom herald the speedy coming of the ultimate redemption.


Great Post! May we all get the beat deal this year with the freedom of the hostages. A kosher and Freilechen Pesach to all


Thank you. Am Israel Chai!


So beautiful Dan! You inspire us! Chag Kosher Vesomeach!


You know Dan I’ve been a dd fan for years. I’m a Muslim, but most importantly I’m a human. I wanna know where your allegiances lie. Are you a human or an Israeli or Zionist.?? For decades the idf has abused and killed Palestinians (settlers included) but it doesn’t get reported on the news because the Israeli government has such a stronghold on media. Cheers to al Jazeera and democracy now for reporting truth without bias. We see the maimed and dismembered Palestinian children orphans and civilians. 35k dead now is it? I hate that these hamas trash killed 1k civilians and gloat on it. But bibi never wanted to return the hostages he is a warlord politician keen on keeping himself in power. I ask you Dan as a HUMAN, do you support bibi and the likud party and Zionism? ( Thanks again for posting this) Love to Israel ( not bibi or likud or ultra orthodox) and the Palestine people.♥️


DDFan, I want to ask you with all respect and maturity. Why would one support a ceasefire if there are hostages (at this very moment in time) being abused, raped, starved, and tortured. Does the ceasefire mean we just push those hostages underneath the rug and make believe that they don’t exist? There’s not one reputable source that says that the moment a ceasefire occurs, all hostages will be returned alive. So, again what happens to those hostages as a result of a ceasefire? I certainly don’t support any ceasefire until every single hostage is safely returned. Seems simple to me, unfortunately not a simple concept for antisemites.

Shmulies Neighbor