Those who have attended a Passover Seder, know that one of the most beloved Seder traditions is the hiding* of the afikomen, a specially designated half-piece of matzah. But what exactly is the afikomen?
On Passover, we commemorate the Exodus from Egyptian slavery. The following is a brief summary:
Illuminated manuscripts inlaid with gold or silver leaf and spectacularly illustrated, are most often associated with the Medieval church (the Gospels, Psalters, etc), where texts were generally hand-copied until Western Europeans discovered the printing press.
It sounds like a classic melodrama: A harlot endangers her life to protect two desperate spies, and, when the city falls, she ends up marrying the conquering leader.
This Passover, Jews around the world will recite: “In every generation, our enemies rise up to destroy us.” Passover, Purim, Chanukah, the Inquisition, the Holocaust…we are well aware of the major attempts by our enemies throughout history to try to destroy us.
Place: In the Wilderness
Who: The Children of Israel
When: Almost a year after leaving Egypt
The intensive physical and emotional preparations for Passover come from one seemingly simple commandment: “Seven days you will eat only matzah, but on the first day you shall have put away chametz from your houses…” (Exodus 12:15). Therefore, by the beginning of the holiday of Passover, no chametz whatsoever may be in one’s possession.
“Jewish Treats”….Ok, not so funny, but, when you get to the bottom of it, April Fools Day (or All Fools Day) is hardly a Jewish holiday.
This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat HaChodesh, the Sabbath of “The Month.”
If you enjoy television medical dramas, then you probably have certain pre-conceived notions about doctors. After all, we see the doctors on television far more often than we see our own medical practitioners. It is interesting, then, how many television doctors, like the currently popular Dr. House, often appear to have what people call a “God complex.”