Passover Sermons

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This post is something a little different — instead of my ideas, I’m including links to other “Passover Torah” (well one of them is mine…).  Below find links to some Passover Torah I found online and appreciated, with a brief excerpt from each one that caught my eye.  If you have any favorites you’d like to share, post a comment with the link.

Chag kasher v’sameach,

Rav Barry

Rabbi Phil Scheim, Pesah Yizkor 5770 (click on the link and then select Pesach VIII 5770.pdf). “The time is coming when released prisoners will return home. And the Jewish people will once again celebrate this festival of freedom properly with all due splendor. Will it be possible for Jews, in time to come, to sit around the Passover table and tell of the Exodus from Egypt without telling of the Exodus from Auschwitz?”

Rabbi David Wolpe, “This Passover Remember You Are An Egyptian.”  ”If you conduct a Seder where those who help you stay until the early hours, without acknowledgement and thanks, with little money, then your Pesach is no Pesach. If you don’t remember that slavery and oppression and sorrow and brokenness were not only in the past but the present, your Pesach is no Pesach. If you think that affliction only happens to the Jewish people, and that the suffering of others can be safely neglected, your Pesach is no Pesach, and your Seder is a wasted meal.”

Rabbi Sholomo Ben Levy, “The Heart: A Passover Midrash.” “It is important that we remember and understand that Pharoah loved himself, he loved his family, and he loved his fellow Egyptian citizens. But this love obviously did not extended to people like us, who did not share his nationality, culture, or beliefs. Hard-hearted people often think they love those closest to them, but the quality and expressions of those bonds tend to be stifled and even corrupted by the hate they feel for others.”

Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Passover Torah, “In Korech, we taste something special. Eating the biting, bitter marror and the sweet charoset all together, we savor the taste of life — and the taste of life is bittersweet. The charoset mellows the sting of the marror and makes it digestible. The marror brings out the sweetness of the charoset. Bittersweet is the taste of life lived in full awareness of the passage of time.”

Rabbi Jason Miller, “Making the Four Children Speak to Us.” “Education is a balancing act. We must embrace all of the learning styles represented by the arba’ah banim, and tailor our Haggadah, our telling of Jewish history, to each other’s intellectual capacity, attitude, and interests. Only then will we all have the merit of fulfilling the central mitzvah of this festival, b’chol dor vador chayav adam lir’ot et atzmo k’ilu hu yatza mi’Mitzrayim – that in every generation we must envision ourselves as having been part of the Exodus from Egypt.”

Rabbi Brad Artson, “Pesach 5770: Sustained by Justice.” “Ha Lahma Anya, with its call to care for all in our society, reminds us that our role models should be Moses, the passionate spokesman for the downtrodden and the outcast, and God, the redeemer of slaves and the untiring protector of widows and orphans.”

Rabbi Yakov Haber, “Fire at the Seder.” ”When we finally eat the matzoh at the Seder the moment should be one of ultimate intimacy with G-d! Jumping the gun and eating matzoh before the Seder would spoil “the moment”. The Seder should feel like our wedding night with Hashem!”

Rabbi Barry Leff, “The Meaning of Passover.” “Celebrating freedom certainly is part of the Passover story, but it’s not simply a “freedom from”—freedom from oppression, freedom from living in fear—but more than that, it is “freedom to”—freedom to serve God. Hedonistic “freedom from” – the sort that teenagers especially crave, no one telling them what to do – is what Janis Joplin immortalized in song: “freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” It’s a very empty freedom.”

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