Shabbat and Pesakh and more, oh my!

Hag sameakh! Today and tomorrow are hagim, holy days that end our Pesakh Festival. Jewish offices are closed today and tomorrow, and Passover ends tomorrow evening at sundown with the end of Shabbat. On this Shabbat, the Shemini or 8th day of the holiday, we depart from our usual Torah parashat hashavua (reading of the week) and readContinue reading “Shabbat and Pesakh and more, oh my!”

Shabbat Pesakh I: What is this Matzah?

Tonight at sundown over 70% of all self-identifying Jews will observe the beginning of Pesakh (Hebrew for “Passover”). At the very least, they will all have matzah, the symbolic bread of affliction, on their tables – gluten free, locally made, even homemade, matzah is the ultimate symbol of the holy day period. Hag haMatzot, “The FestivalContinue reading “Shabbat Pesakh I: What is this Matzah?”

Shabbat HaHodesh: Say His Name

This Shabbat carries so much significance – it is Shabbat HaHodesh, the Shabbat of The Month, that is, the first month of the Jewish year, the month in which we will commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. That escape occurred on the 14th day of the month we now call Nisan, and every year we gatherContinue reading “Shabbat HaHodesh: Say His Name”

The Most Important Mitzvah

It’s a Portland kind of question: What do you do for Passover when you’re gluten free?  In order to answer this question it’s best to first consider a more fundamental question: What is the Most Important Mitzvah of Pesakh? There are several mitzvot that all might be considered primary:  1. have a Seder and tellContinue reading “The Most Important Mitzvah”

Getting Ready for Pesakh: What Is Matzah Really About?

It’s all about the matzah. The official name – and the  most ancient name – of our early spring festival is Hag haMatzot, the Festival of Matzah. Eating matzah is a mitzvah, an obligation for every Jew. But what if you’re gluten free? this question has of course already been answered by the matzah industry:Continue reading “Getting Ready for Pesakh: What Is Matzah Really About?”