Wednesday, April 08, 2020


The Omer and Rav Aharon

Rabbi, Cong. Ahavas Israel, Passaic-Clifton; 

Adjunct professor in Judaic Studies at Lander College for Women in Manhattan

The Gemara relates, “Rabbi Akiva had twelve thousand pairs of students … and they all died in one period of time,

Hallel on Leil Pesach in Isolation

By Rabbi Haim Jachter

Sephardic Jews are faced with the question this year, when we will very sadly be praying at home in isolation on the night of the Seder, as to whether to recite the pre-Seder Hallel at home during Arvit. In normal circumstances, this Hallel is recited with a bracha in the Bet

Geulah: The Beginning and the End

First Day of Pesach

In a very real sense, this first day of Pesach celebrates not only the beginning of the redemption, but its completion as well. The exodus from Egypt which is marked today was only the beginning of the redemptive process, as the Ramban points out in his introduction to Sefer Shemot.

Mah Nishtanah: The Three Questions

The mishnah in the tenth chapter of Pesacḥim includes a set of mah nishtanah. If one opens a standard Babylonian Talmud (Pesacḥim 116a), one sees four questions in the text of the mishnah (matzah, maror, roast and dipping). But if one opens a standard Jerusalem Talmud, one sees three questions (dipping, matzah and roast). Is this one of

Short and Deep Insights for Seder Night

We all want to share deep and thoughtful ideas at the Seder in order to enhance the experience. This collection of short and deep insights for the Seder are organized in a way so that each idea is independent, but when read together, they develop a deeper theme as well. I hope they will aid you on your journey towards a meaningful,

Servitude and Gratitude

The experience of our exodus from Egypt gave birth not only to our nation, but to a wide array of Biblical commandments. One significant group of mitzvot emanating from yetziat Mitzrayim are those that are meant to fasten our relationship with God, such as tefillin, mezuzah, tzitzit and Shabbat, to name a few. Another group of mitzvot that

Pesach, 2020 Edition

Stay home. No guests. Four words that have ripped a hole in our hearts for Pesach this year. On March 29, the RCBC sent a letter with an explicit directive: “…we cannot have any guests at all for Pesach this year…only with the family that lives with us in our homes.”

People have spent

The Year the Lubavitcher Rebbe Spent Pesach Alone

One of the issues that has been coming up again and again in the past week during phone calls I have been having with my community, and with others from further afield, is the fact that people will be on their own for the Seder this year, or that their Seder will be drastically reduced in numbers, with children or parents elsewhere, all

Bnei Akiva Goes Virtual: Taking a Community Event-Based Movement and Turning It 360°

(Courtesy of Bnei Akiva) And just like that Pesach is here. The last month has been quite the whirlwind, to say the least! It started out slow with murmurings about school closings and Purim celebration cancelations, but before we knew it our entire worlds were turned upside down.

Across the

Stern College Student Haggadah Keeps Classmates Connected in Time of COVID-19

(Courtesy of Yeshiva University) Back in February when the Torah Activities Council (TAC) of Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business decided to create its own Haggadah, little did the council realize that this Pesach would be like none in their lifetimes. TAC members, led by President Bella Adler SCW’20, decided to

Try These Original Pesach Puzzles

Give these Pesach puzzles a go, all from my new interactive Seder game, Sederactive.

Rhyme Time: Each riddle’s answer will be a rhyming phrase. For example, the answer to “a hysterical rabbit” is “funny bunny.” But no rabbits here; these puzzles are all related to Pesach.

1. A ton of unleavened bread

2. A mannequin filled with

Letters of Healing, Letters of Hope

As the world is shaking and a dreadful disease is raging our communities, the question remains—what can we do? In a physical sense, we can take all necessary precautions, maintain proper hygiene and look out for ourselves and others. These precautions have been saving lives. Similarly, we know that our spiritual actions can have an equally potent impact and can