Seder Gems 5769 - First Night

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Seder Gems -- First Night.

 

A brief synopsis of Seder thoughts -- 14 pages of pithy and timely ideas that will inspire and motivate your guests’.

  • The Seder night, we bring heaven down to earth, beginning with the tale of the tasty, tantalizing, Turkish pastry.
  • Free the Slaves! Make your living, but don’t forget to live. The very first mitzvah ushered in by the Kiddush tonight, instructs us to be masters of our own time. Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev teaches us to fill time with goodness and appreciate our blessings.
  • Learn what the founder of Hadassah accomplished after losing the love of her life and transforming her personal pain into a springboard of good to benefit the world. ‘Hay Lachma Anya’ - This is the Bread of Affliction
  • Find out the remarkable experiment conducted in conjunction with Rembrandt’s famous painting ‘The Night Watch,’ and discover how inquiry, the asking of questions, opens and expands the mind. ‘Mah Nishtana’ – Judaism is a faith of questions.
  • In response to the wicked child, the Haggadah says, you should “blunt his teeth.” What does this mean? The Baal Shem answered this movingly to a father whose son was estranged from Judaism with three words — three words that should be the foundation all of Jewish philosophy. 
  • There are few museums which make as powerful an impact as the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., but at first glance, it contains a structural oddity that clarifies how the Egyptians treated us and also illuminates the two tactics of Anti-Semitism in modern times.
  • Rabbi Yehudah groups the plagues into threes because they occurred in a three-fold pattern attacking three different spheres in Egypt; ground, sea, and atmosphere. These, you might say, were G-d’s, army, air force and navy. It was the first “Shock and Awe” Campaign. 
  • Contrast the success of the Ark with the dismal fate of the Titanic, a victory for the amateurs or experts? Discover that faith can trump finesse, and how the simple devotion of the Jew has endured through the millennia.
  • David Ben Gurion knew the secret of the Seder and publicly revealed it at the United Nations in 1947.
  • A poignant metaphor of the charred wedding cake illustrates the enduring love between the Jewish people and G-d. We celebrate our eternal anniversary on these nights, every year, on these days.
  • We open the Door for Elijah. Why Him? In the 1950s, Look magazine featured a lead article entitled, “The Vanishing American Jew”. Ironically, by the 1980’s, Look magazine had gone bankrupt and vanished. It’s building is now Chabad of midtown Manhattan…G-d is teaching Elijah and us how to “Look” properly at the Jewish people…
  • As we open our doors down here on earth, G-d opens the doors in Heaven. At this time, the Jewish mystics teach, every individual, regardless of their spiritual level, can ask G-d for any blessing. Let us open our hearts in prayer, Let us commit ourselves to learn the great lesson of the Seder...
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