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Seder Gems 5784 Package


This Pesach, let us bring the timeless wisdom of the Torah and the profound insights of Chasidic teachings into our homes and hearts. Our carefully curated Seder Gems are crafted to illuminate your community's discussions at the Seder table, providing pathways not only to understand our cherished heritage but also to live it. These teachings beckon us to deepen our Yiddishkeit, strengthening our commitment to our traditions and to each other.


Here’s a preview of this year’s Seder Gems for the First Night



Dive into an enlightening Seder Gem that intertwines biblical valor with cutting-edge psychology. Unveil how Joshua and Caleb's fearless perspective—mirrored in university studies on perception involving athletes—teaches us that challenges aren't as daunting as they seem. This insight sets the stage for a transformative Seder, empowering us to see obstacles as opportunities, guiding us to transcend our personal Egypts and embrace true freedom.


מַצָּה וּמָרוֹר מֻנָּחִים לְפָנֶיךָ - Judaism as Music: To Be Played, Not Argued

Discover how the Seder turns the teachings of the Torah into a vivid experience. Matzah and bitter herbs are not merely foods; they are profound symbols that bring the story of Exodus to life at our tables. Like a beautiful piece of music, Judaism is best expressed not through argument, but by engaging in its practices, creating a harmonious experience that resonates deeply, teaching and inspiring us all.


וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה - The Triumph Stone: A Monument of Miracles

Explore the Merneptah Stele, an ancient monument with the first known external mention of Israel, originally proclaiming defeat. Now, it stands as a powerful testament to Jewish resilience and survival through centuries. This artifact not only highlights our historical adversities but also celebrates our enduring spirit and the miraculous continuity of the Jewish people.


כָּל הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד הַיְאֹרָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ - From Martial Arts to Heart Arts: Batya’s Legacy

Explore the profound impact of empathy illustrated by Batya, who recognized Moses not by intellect but through compassion, and a martial artist in Japan who learned that care outweighs combat. These narratives teach that empathy can bridge gaps, turning everyday interactions into deeply spiritual experiences and reinforcing our connections to the divine.


כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם - From Moth to Moonlight: Our Liberation Story

Consider the metaphor of moths drawn to artificial lights, mirroring our own entrapment by primitive desires and limitations. Passover symbolizes a journey from these constraints towards freedom, urging us to transcend our 'moth mindset' and embrace growth and purpose. This festival redefines our personal narratives, inviting us to break free from self-imposed boundaries and step into our potential, guided by our higher instincts towards the promise of liberation.


כָּל הַנִסִּים אֲנַחְנוּ חַיָבִים לְהודות... אֶת - Miracle or BBQ? Moses’ Fiery Encounter

Imagine encountering a bush ablaze yet untouched by the flames. Moses' reaction—to investigate rather than dismiss—reveals a profound truth. Our lives are strewn with such "burning bushes," moments brimming with wonder and divine messages. Do we stop to notice them? Inspired by Moses, let’s embrace these opportunities to uncover the divine in our everyday lives, transforming ordinary experiences into gateways of spiritual discovery.


פְּתַח הַדֶּלֶת - Elijah’s Door: A Journey Beyond Anne Frank’s Attic

Witness the transformation from Anne Frank's hidden life to a proud, public affirmation of Jewish identity. Dara Horn's poignant observations highlight the contrast between commemorating past tragedies and celebrating vibrant Jewish life today. This Passover, as we open our doors for Elijah, we symbolize our refusal to hide, boldly inviting the world to witness our faith and resilience. The Rebbe taught that the best way to fight antisemitism is by living our traditions openly and proudly. Tonight, we proclaim: Our strength lies not in secrecy, but in proudly living out our traditions.


לשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָׁלָיִם - Impossible to I’m Possible: Abraham and the Stars

Embrace the story of Abraham and Sarah, where G-d’s challenge to count the stars symbolizes transcending the 'impossible.' This narrative inspires us to tackle life's challenges with the same faith that turned dreams of a homeland into the reality of Israel. As we gather around our Seder tables, let's remember that within 'IMPOSSIBLE' lies 'I'm possible!' This Passover, reflect on our journey from improbable dreams to realized promises, affirming our limitless potential through faith and perseverance.



Here’s a preview of this year’s Seder Gems for the Second Night


כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח - Cookie Thief: A Passover Tale of Freedom Unwrapped

In an airport lounge, a woman misjudges a man she thinks is stealing her cookies, only to discover they were his, and he was sharing. This tale sheds light on the perils of quick judgments. As we gather for the Passover Seder, it echoes the invitation to open our hearts, urging us to welcome others with understanding. This story beautifully illuminates the Passover message: true freedom is found in our connections and shared humanity. Let us embrace this season by extending an open invitation, celebrating our interconnected lives.


כָּל הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוד הַיְארָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ - Is an Antisemite Simply a Friend We Haven't Helped?

Explore the deep roots of antisemitism through history, from Pharaoh's irrational decree to Nazi Germany's self-destructive hatred and a telling Midrash about Emperor Hadrian. This analysis reveals how antisemitism often defies logic, showcasing the dangers of assuming such hatred can be resolved through rational dialogue alone. Uncover why remembering these lessons is crucial for confronting and understanding the true nature of antisemitism today.


עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת - Moses’ Guide: Divine Hacks for Modern Plagues

Discover how Moses’ confrontation with the Egyptian magicians reveals a timeless truth: unleashing chaos is easy, but quelling it demands divine wisdom. Today, as we grapple with global crises akin to biblical plagues, this lesson becomes crucial. The path to resolving such modern calamities doesn't rely on might but on moral leadership and justice, principles that Moses championed. Learn how these ancient strategies can guide us through today's turbulent times, offering a blueprint for genuine peace and recovery.


 מֵעַבְדוּת לְחֵרוּת - Divine Laws: The Ultimate Freedom Hack

In "The Ultimate Freedom Hack," we uncover the profound significance behind God's introduction as the liberator from Egypt, prioritizing freedom over creation. This insight sets the stage for exploring historical examples like the breaches of the Great Wall of China and the foresight of American founders, emphasizing the vital role of virtue in sustaining democracy. By interweaving Talmudic stories with modern societal issues, this piece illustrates that liberty derive not from physical defenses but from the steadfast adherence to G-d’s moral laws.


חֲרוֹסֶת - Unraveling the Sweet Mystery of Charoset

"Unraveling the Sweet Mystery of Charoset" explores the surprising joy found in the traditional Passover dish, representing the mortar used by Jewish slaves in Egypt. This insight discusses how Charoset's sweetness transcends its historical context, symbolizing the inherent value and satisfaction found in work, even during times of oppression. It challenges us to find fulfillment in our endeavors and to recognize work as a continuous source of personal and communal enrichment.


 הָיְתָה יְהוּדָה לְקׇדְשׁוֹ - A Girl’s Exodus with Lincoln

Discover a poignant tale of liberation where Abraham Lincoln, moved by the injustice at a slave market, purchases and frees a young girl. This act of emancipation mirrors the biblical Exodus, where the Jews didn't just escape slavery but chose a covenant with God, embracing divine guidance and purpose. This story highlights how true freedom involves making choices that elevate and fulfill us. Like the Jews who chose to follow God after their liberation, the girl chooses to follow Lincoln, symbolizing her step towards a life guided by gratitude and newfound purpose.


תִּזְכֹּר אֶת יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ - ‘Let My People Grow’: The Rebbe's Guide to Escaping Your Inner Egypt

Begin each day anew with the Rebbe’s profound insight, exploring the journey from bondage to liberation. This path is mirrored in nature and in our own experiences: first, the plant, thriving with basic sustenance; next, the animal, requiring freedom to explore; and finally, the human spirit, represented by an acorn poised to become a grand oak. This meditation encourages us beyond mere physical freedom, inspiring us to expand our intellectual and spiritual horizons. By embracing this daily renewal, we discover enduring joy and the essence of true liberation.

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