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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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It's Not Just Cricket

Question of the Week:

 

The one Jewish ideal that I can't get my head around is Moshiach - the belief in the coming of a messianic era. What good is achieved by awaiting some future time when there will be peace on earth? Shouldn't we focus on the present, rather than dreaming about the future? Why is the belief in the coming of the messiah so central to Judaism?

 

Answer:

 

Some of the deepest truths I learnt from my cricket coach. He was a sharp guy, with a keen eye for detail. He would observe my batting style and point out what I needed to work on. But I gained more than just cricket advice.

 

One consistent flaw in my batting was my follow through. The coach noticed that as soon as my bat hits… Read More »

Seder - When Chaos is Called Order

 

ARE YOU HOLY ENOUGH TO SIT AT THE SEDER TABLE?

 

The word "Seder" actually means "order." This is a little ironic. The average Seder in any Jewish home is one of the most chaotic events you could ever imagine. And that's called order. 



We start the Seder by listing the fifteen steps that we will follow. The first two words are "Kadesh Urchatz" which mean "Sanctify and wash." These refer to the first two steps of the Seder, making Kiddush and then washing hands. 

 

But the order is significant. After all, it is called the Seder. But here it seems to be in reverse order. Surely we need to wash first before sanctifying ourselves. You… Read More »

Should We Relish the Approval of Others?

Question of the Week:

 

I am confused about the maror, the bitter herbs eaten at the Seder. I always thought you are supposed to use horseradish. But then I heard that we should use cos (or romaine) lettuce leaves, with a spoonful of fresh horseradish. I eat lettuce with my salad all year round, and it is not bitter. If anything it is quite sweet tasting. So why eat lettuce to commemorate the bitterness of Egyptian slavery?

 

Answer:

 

Your sweet lettuce is a sneaky little vegetable. Its nature very closely parallels the Egyptian slavery experience.

 

Indeed, lettuce has a gentle and pleasant taste. That is because we pick… Read More »

Skeptics at the Seder?

 

Question of the Week:


Who Really Wrote the Haggadah?

With Pesach coming up, here's something I always wanted to know. Why do we place a chicken neck on the Seder Plate, and then leave it there and not eat it. I always look at the empty Seder plate with this lonely chicken neck left behind, and wonder, why is it there? 

 

Answer:

 

One of the most amazing characters in the story of the Exodus is Pharaoh. He witnessed with his own eyes the downfall of his country, he experienced first hand the miracles of the Ten Plagues one after the other, he saw how every prediction Moses made came true, and yet… Read More »

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