Vacation Notice: Have A Safe And Happy Passover!

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The Jewish holiday of Pesach runs through April 16th.

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Pesach is traditionally one associated with celebrating our freedom along with family and guests. But this seder night will be different than all other seder nights. We won’t have family or friends come over for holiday meals. We won’t be able to pray in a synagogue. We won’t hear the exodus story from a torah scroll.

Instead, we will be missing our extended families, anxious about those who are sick, and grieving those that we’ve lost too soon. While we recount the exodus from Egypt, our kids may ask when we’ll experience our own exodus from our homes. And we can tell them what a glorious day that will be, and how much joy our forefathers must have felt after being enslaved for over 2 centuries. And we can tell them about the day of the ultimate redemption, when we’ll be reunited with all of our loved ones that we’ve lost.

 

On a lighter note, DDF member Redbull3 released another of his “misheard ballplayer lyrics” songs on his @DonZemmer Twitter page and it’s amazing as always:

 

That comes after last year’s remaking of Yaakov Shwecky’s Vehi Sheamda:

 

I’ll also repost these videos from this past Sunday’s roundup:

 

And while we’re at it, I’ll also repost the link to these nice thoughts from Rabbi Aron Moss of Chabad.org as well as these words of Chizuk From The Sanzer Rebbe in Netanya, Israel that were shared on DDF here:

“It’s important to contemplate that just as this virus cannot be seen by our eyes and yet it has the power to transform the whole world, so too the Almighty is not seen but runs the whole world.

While you might say that with the right instruments one can see the virus, you should know that if you have the right “instruments” you can also “see” the Almighty. Those instruments can be accessed – as is mentioned in many works and throughout chassidic literature – through deep connection to Torah….

It is forbidden to say about anything – certainly about something so major – that it is just a random event. We must attempt to ponder: Why did Hashem bring this upon us?

Some think they are able to find causes and assign blame. However, the teaching I received from my sainted father – which is one of the fundamental teachings of Chassidus – is that we are not to look at the deficiencies of others.

It is not the desecration of Shabbos that’s to blame – nor any other sin that other people may have transgressed. We must especially refrain from finding fault during a time when we are supposed to awaken Heavenly mercy. G-d forbid, we should not arouse negative judgment against the Jewish people. We should only speak in their defense.

Instead, at such a time, everyone should look at himself: What can I improve about myself and my avodah for me and all of Klal Yisrael? Let them look at where they can improve in Torah, tefillah, and, most of all, in the way they treat other people.

People are frightened and stressed, and naturally they feel pressured and may tend to lose patience at home and outside. In this situation, when the children are at home – everyone is at home – along with the pressure of Pesach and all its preparations, which yields its own stresses, the primary behavior that we must accept upon ourselves is to be joyful and filled with simcha. To exude calm, to be peaceful with the children, to spend time with the children – the boys and the girls – even more than usual.

I must state – and this is the primary message I want to get across – that although righteous women have been accustomed to devoting all their energy to preparing the house for Passover, this year must be different. I have a tradition that I received many times from my sainted father, z”l, that Pesach was not intended for making the house new once again or to do “spring cleaning” of all kinds of dirt that may have accumulated.

What is required for Pesach is only removing chametz, and according to halacha, nullification [i.e., Kol Chamira] is sufficient. In fact, my father recounted that in the home of his grandfather – the Bnei Yissachar – they would clean the house on the night before Pesach as they searched for chametz, and that was the entirety of the “Pesach cleaning.”

Furthermore, my father himself instructed his children when they had small children of their own to take care of that the mothers shouldn’t go beyond the basic obligation of cleaning at the expense of caring for the children and should not turn the house over to make it clean.

The evil inclination is ready to bring into your home pressure, stress, and irritation about the children – and to cause tension between husband and wife – trying to convince them that “this is necessary in order to make Pesach.” One needs to know that one point of anger – one moment of stress – is far worse than having chametz in the home!

It is our duty – that of parents and righteous women – to ensure calm in the home. Pesach will be kosher with doing less. Do as much as you can calmly with no stress – and nothing more.

Place far more focus on the mitzvah of “You shall tell your son.” Make sure the children grow positively in their spiritual and material needs. Be careful that they come to no harm during these weeks….

What is wanted from us now from heaven – and Jews just want to do the will of G-d – is for our homes to be islands of calm and happiness. G-d is leading in the way that He is right now; let us gladly accept His will with joy and without any angry fights and shouting.

Let us maintain calm and avoid aggravation and not be stringent when it is not necessary, while at the same time not be lenient with what is truly forbidden.

Of course, it is important not to transgress the prohibition against bitul Torah and one should use their learning time productively, but most of the learning should be with the children – as the Torah states, “And you shall teach it to your sons.”… Prepare them for Pesach.

Let us yearn to bring – even this year – the Korban Pesach. If one can, one should study the halachot of Korban Pesach. But what is most important is to engage in chessed – to do what we can to help others. At times like this, when there are many homes that are having difficulties, it is up to us to help with whatever possible. Older girls can help neighbors or the elderly….

My message to children and young men is to be very careful – especially in these days when the challenge is greater – to respect their parents, which is such an essential Torah command….

Unfortunately, there are many who are ill, and if illness can be prevented by adhering to the government guidelines, they should not be underestimated. The dictum of the Torah “You shall be very protective of your life” has no limit. We desecrate Shabbos and Yom Kippur even if there is a small chance that a life may be in danger. And it is even more important to be careful to avoid harming others than to avoid harming oneself….

Of course, one should add a few chapters of Tehillim to one’s prayers and ask of G-d “mena magayfa minachalasecha – prevent a plague from your inheritance.”… We should endeavor to instill in our sons and daughters a deep confidence in Hashem, as Hashem is the Protector of Israel. Encourage and embolden them; help them appreciate the concept of doing kindness with others, both spiritually and physically.

If we do this, may we merit a complete salvation – “with joy you will come out and with peace will you bring” – speedily in our days.

(The English translation is courtesy of Rabbi Yehuda L. Oppenheimer)

 

 


A letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe sent before Pesach:


But for now, it’s time to go offline, turn the news off, and put our worries aside. I’m very much looking forward to this year’s 73 hours where I’ll be forced to put away my phone, turn off my computer, and just spend quality time with my wife and 3 kids. It will certainly give context of how much I have to be thankful for, even in uncertain and difficult times.

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

-Dan

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14 Comments On "Vacation Notice: Have A Safe And Happy Passover!"

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BewareThe4thNightFree

I wanted to thank you for all you do. Your alerts have helped me get the much needed TP, wipes and masks in these difficult times. Have a happy healthy Pesach and may you and your family stay safe and healthy.

YoniPDX

chag kasher v’same’ach

jack6941

Thank you for everything Dan and JJ!
Happy and healthy pesach to this large DD family!

Shmobaum

Love you dan!

Mosh

Thanks dan For this beautiful post, It woke me up about pesach,
May you have A happy and safe and Kosher Yom tov!

JohnnieD

Best wishes to you and family!

darren

Covid19 is a horrible disease/plague befalling mankind, but it pales in comparison to what our Jewish ancestors had to deal with in the Earth’s 5780 years, with Egyptian slavery, the Holocaust, the European pogroms, Spanish Inquisition, the Pesach blood libels, the destruction of the two Temples, etc. This is bad, but it isn’t close to any of the above mentioned,we still have food and can practice our religion without persecution B”H. That said B’ezras Hashem this magefah/plaugue will end asap.

YM

Regarding the stimulus checks, my wife just received hers and she is not an american citizen but rather here on a R1 visa (Religious work visa) (which obviously means that she has a ssn). Just pointing it out for anyone in a similar situation as the impression from one of the earlier posts and comments therein re the stimulus checks was that if you are not an american citizen, even if you are legally working here that you will not receive it. Happily, that seems not to be the case.

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