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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

Thousands of people enjoy the wisdom and inspiration of Rabbi Moss' weekly emails.

Why Is Seder Night Always a Full Moon?

Question of the Week: 

 
I am very connected to the zodiac and was wondering if there is a link between the stars and the timing of Pesach. I have also noticed that the Seder always coincides with the full moon. What is the significance of all this?
 
Answer:
 
There is deep astrological significance to the date of Pesach. We celebrate the festival of freedom on the night of the 15th of Nissan in the Hebrew calendar, the night the Israelites were freed from Egypt. This is the full moon of the month of Aries, the ram.
 
The Egyptians worshipped the ram as a god. Aries is the leader of the star signs, the first and most powerful, and the Egyptians saw themselves as the leaders of the world, receiving their… Read More »

A Seder Conspiracy Theory

 Question of the Week:

Whoever wrote the Haggadah seems to have made a major mistake. The name of Moses does not appear in the entire Haggadah! How could the main man of the Exodus who confronted Pharaoh, brought down the plagues, and led his people out of slavery be completely left out of the story? It would be like doing Macbeth without Macbeth, or Star Wars without Luke Skywalker. I have a conspiracy theory: This was no mistake. The Haggadah was written by an anti-Moses faction who tried to write him out of history. That way they would take over the priesthood and control the Temple. Like it?

Answer:

That's a fantastic conspiracy theory. Really fantastic.

But the question is a good one. Moses' absence from the Haggadah… Read More »

Do Your Kids Know Your Secrets?

Question of the Week:

My kids get very excited about the Seder, but I find that the thing they are most excited about is the Afikoman. As soon as I break the middle matzah they start begging me to hide the larger part so they can find it. I always do, but sometimes it seems to distract from the rest of the Seder. Is the Afikoman supposed to be such a focus? What are we teaching our kids?

Answer:

The Seder night is not just a festive meal. It is the ultimate hands-on educational workshop. Every move we make at the Seder, every sentence and every tradition contains volumes of pedagogic wisdom and practical advice, as we pass over to our children the story of who we are and what we believe. The Afikoman is a prime example of this.

Read More »

Do You Comb the Credits for Jewish Names?

Question of the Week:

Why do the Jewish people seem to loom so large on the world stage? The numbers don't add up. Here's a nation less than 0.2% of the world's population, yet we command so much attention you'd think there were billions of us. That's like a room of two thousand people, with one puny guy sitting in the corner who everyone wants to talk to (or pick on).... Why do we always seem to be at the centre of history?
 
Answer:
 
Jews do strange things sometimes. One example is the wide-spread practice of "credit combing."
 
Many Jews have a habit of combing through the credits at the end of a movie, searching for Jewish names. At each discovery they beam with pride:
Look! Assistant… Read More »

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