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Instead of counting "down" toward the big day, we count "up" from one to 50. Why?
The Jewish people left Egypt on Passover, and 50 days later (on the holiday of Shavuot) received the Torah at Mount Sinai. Today, in revisiting that Sinai experience, we observe a special mitzvah called "Counting the Omer," where we actually count aloud each of these days, beginning on the second night of Passover. (The Omer was a special offering brought to the Holy Temple during this season.)
Counting in anticipation of an exciting event is quite understandable. At one time or another, we've all probably said something like, "Grandma's coming to visit in a week and a half," or "Only 17 more days til my birthday!" But there's one subtle difference: The
Florida congregation continues exponential growth, especially among the young
Devorah Leah Andrusier remembers moving to Bal Harbour, Fla., as a teenager when her parents became Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries there. Back then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, thousands of Jewish seniors, snowbirds and retirees had permanent and second homes in Miami Beach, but Jewish life was virtually nonexistent in the barrier island’s northern tip, which at the time restricted sales to Jews, among other
Not only does it churn out shmurah matzah in bulk, it educates thousands of Israeli schoolchildren every year
Prior to Passover 1950: The village of Kfar Chabad in central Israel had been settled just months earlier by a group of hardy survivors of Stalinist oppression and Nazi destruction.
While most of the villagers worked the land and raised livestock—eking out a living from Israel’s sacred soil—some residents took it upon themselves to explore a new avenue: a matzah bakery that
The hulking gravestones in Berdichev’s old Jewish cemetery are unlike those found anywhere else. Chiseled as if by an ancient shoemaker, the stones were long ago nicknamed valenki for their resemblance to the traditional Russian felt winter boots by that name. Who designed them that way or why is a mystery, but on a pre-Passover morning visit to this place, the scene is surreal, almost ghostly, as row after row of boot-shaped stones stretch into the distance. And then, up ahead—in the middle of
Instead of rejecting our negative past, Passover teaches us how to use it
World history, from ancient to current, is replete with stories of revolutions going sour. An oppressed, downtrodden populace revolts against its tyrannical government, spurred on by the noble goal of guaranteeing liberty and equal rights for all. Not long after seizing power, those same revolutionaries become the establishment themselves, often becoming as corrupt and repressive as the predecessors they so valiantly