The First Passover, Then and Now

The Sages distinguish between two Passover celebrations — the first one, called Pesach Mitzrayim, the Passover of Egypt, and every other Passover celebration after that one, known as Pesach Dorot, the Passover of subsequent generations.

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(Almost) Eclipsing the Eclipse

As the wine steward said to Pharaoh in Genesis 41:9, “I declare my sins now.” The sin I declare now is my tone-deafness to the significance of this week’s solar eclipse.  I just didn’t understand why it was such a big deal to so many people, including to many of the Rabbinic Fellows in Clal’s LEAP program, run in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.

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The Living Light of Hanukkah, from Christian Leaders Connected to Clal

In the midst of ongoing war, rising hatred, and so much anger, we have the joy of sharing a remarkable 10-minute video, independently produced at the initiative of Alumni of Clal’s Stand and See Initiative.

The video came with a magnificent message written by a leader of this project, Reverend Jill Harman, Associate Pastor at Fremont First United Methodist Church and a faculty member at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, where she is completing her EdD. The following is taken from that message:

As past members of the memorable Clal trips, we have been deeply moved and concerned by the recent events affecting our Jewish community and Israel. With hearts full of love and solidarity, we came together to create a message – a video, a testament to our collective strength and unity.

We understand that words alone cannot ease the pain or solve the problems we face, but we hope this gesture reminds you that you are not alone. You are part of a larger family, one that spans beyond geographical boundaries and time spent together.

Remember, through these trying times, the spirit of Clal remains unbroken, and the bonds we share are unshakable. May we all find comfort in knowing that together, we can face any challenge that comes our way.

I share this video and Rev Harman’s words here, not only with great pride in that which we continue to achieve but to remind ourselves and each other that there is always more light in the world than we often allow ourselves to believe and that is especially true when we are confronted with so much darkness.

I share this because while the “so much darkness” part is real, so is the light. And like this video, whose light could not have been anticipated when we created the experiences that kindled it in the hearts of the video’s creators, the light we need arises from our willingness to trust that if we keep on kindling the light, it will glow brighter and longer than we can imagine. If that isn’t an early-arriving Hanukkah story, I don’t know what is.