Chol Hamoed Pesach, and Last day of Pesach
(Deuteronomy 14:22/Numbers 28:19–25)
(Haftorah: Isaiah 10:32–12:6) / (Song of songs) / (Yizkor)
- [Chol Hamoed Pesach] Chol Hamoed Pesach celebrates the crossing of the Red Sea, when
God split the sea for us. Our mystical texts tell us that at that time, God made the miracles happen even though we had not earned them–we didn’t deserve them. At others times, however, we get miracles because we deserve them. Which miracles are preferable–those that we deserve, or those that are pure kindness from God without us deserving them?
- [Chol Hamoed Pesach] The midrash tells us that God split the sea only after one brave (or desperate) person jumped into the Red Sea. This act prompted God to split the sea for us. What is this midrash trying to teach us?
- [Chol Hamoed Pesach] We say Yizkor (a prayer for our deceased relatives) on the last day of Pesach and on the other festivals. Why do we remember our loved ones on our festivals?
- [Shmini shel Pesach] We read the Song of Songs on the eighth and last day of Pesach. Our sages tell us that the love between a man and a woman represents the love between us and God. We experience love for many different people and things. Are all our “loves” different expressions of one love, or is every love different from other “loves”?
- [Haftara Yishayahu 11:6] “The wolf will live with the lamb…” This is a messianic vision of the time when there will be total peace in the world. Some say that it is a metaphor and others say that we should take this vision literally. If there is total peace, will there be growth? Doesn’t our creativity need some tension in order to be effective?
At two times of the year, a Jew is able to renew himself, so that it is as if he were newly born–on Yom Kippur and on Pesach. On Yom Kippur, it is through one’s own actions. Through tshuvah, one becomes fresh and new. On Pesach, the renewal is an act of love from God.
—R. Sholom Noach Berezovsky, the Slonimer rebbe, 1911- 2000, Lithuania and Israel.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker
And to the memory of Sarah Beila Kummer bat Yitzchak and Chana, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer