Monday, April 6 through Thursday, April 9, 2015
Thursday, April 9, 2015, erev Pesach VII
Candle Lighting 7:14p.m
Friday, April 10, 2015 Pessach VII, Special Readings
Candle Lighting 7:14p.m.latest
SHABBAT, April 11, 2015, Pessach VIII, Special Readings
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Shabbat ends 8:21p.m.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Shabbat, April 11, 2015, Special Readings for Shabbat Pessach VIII
|1||Kohen||Deuteronomy 14:22 – 14:29|
|2||Levi||Deuteronomy 15:1 – 15:18|
|3||Shlishi||Deuteronomy 15:19 – 15:23|
|4||Rivii||Deuteronomy 16:1 – 16:3|
|5||Chamishi||Deuteronomy 16:4 – 16:8|
|6||Shishi||Deuteronomy 16:9 – 16:12|
|7||Shivii||Deuteronomy 16:13 – 16:17|
|Maftir||Numbers 28:19 – 28:25|
|Haftarah||Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6|
The Torah reading for the eighth day of Passover, is Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17 which deals with a variety of laws related to tithes, the year of release, the release of slaves, and another comprehensive review and description of the three pilgrimage festivals.
Maftir, Numbers 28:19-29:25
A second Torah scroll is taken from the ark from which to read the maftir. This reading specifies in great detail the content and nature of the offerings to be given to G-d at the three pilgrimage festivals.
HAFTARAH SUMMARY, Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6
The text for today’s Haftarah is derived from the Book of Isaiah. The reading begins with the prediction that Assyria (Assyria, a major Mesopotamian-East Semitic kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East existed as an independent state for approximately nineteen centuries from c. 2500 BC to 605 BC) would be defeated. This prophecy comes true as the Haftarah continues with Isaiah’s message of hope that the Israelites will again be gathered together from lands of exile and will return to Israel. This Haftarah also contains the famous great vision of the Messianic Era when peace and harmony will reign supreme among all people, and because of the allusions in the Haftarah linked with the redemption from Egypt, it was especially chosen by the sages to be chanted on the last day of Passover.
Yizkor, the Hebrew word for “remember” is the traditional mourning service recited by individuals of the community who have lost a parent or a close loved one. This moving ceremony is based on the Jewish belief of the eternity of the soul and is recited as part of the prayer service four times during the year, on Yom Kippur, the second day of Shavuot, the eighth day of Sukkoth (Shemini Atzeret) and today, on the last day of Passover.
The Ashkenazi custom of reciting Yizkor on the festivals is thought possibly to have originated during the Crusades when massacres wiped out many Jewish communities as Crusader armies travelled back and forth to the Holy Land.
Yizkor is recited by everyone who has lost a parent or other loved one. The central segment of the Yizkor service is a single paragraph beginning Yizkor Elohim (May G-d remember). Prayer books generally have individual paragraphs to be recited for a deceased mother, father, male relative (including husband, son, brother, uncle and grandfather), female relative (including wife, daughter, sister, aunt and grandmother), extended family and martyrs. The first four of these prayers have a designated space in which to mention the name of the deceased.
After the individuals recite the Yizkor prayer quietly, the Cantor chants the El Malei Rahamim (“God, full of compassion”) prayer which is similar in theme to the Yizkor prayer. Many congregations add a special El Malei Rahamim for those who perished in the Shoah, and a third for the soldiers who fell in defence of Israel, and those murdered through terror. The service concludes with the Av Harachamim, (Lord of Compassion), a prayer for souls of all Jewish martyrs. The Kaddish, recited by all the congregants, closes the Yizkor Service.
A Reflection at the Close of Pessach, Part II
The events of the past few weeks and next few to come are the emotional rollercoaster of the Jewish calendar. It seems we just finished celebrating the triumph of Esther and Mordechai over the evil genocide planned by Haman, and last Shabbat we marked our jubilant deliverance from Egypt while recognizing the remarkable commitment that Jews throughout the world share in the festival of Passover. And now, that Pessach is reaching closure, it is important for us all to continue our dedication to Jewish memory and identity. The elation of these joyous events however will soon push up against some of the most distressing and darkest days of our calendar. The first, Yom Hashoah, is the day dedicated to Holocaust remembrance, when we memorialize and mourn the tragic destruction of six million of our brethren during the Shoah. Thus, when we rise for Yizkor, the solemn service in memory of family members that have gone on before us, the Cantor will recite a special El Maleh Rachamim, a prayer originated by Ashkenazi Jews recalling the martyrs of the crusades and the multiple pogroms of Europe, and now most heartbreakingly, for six million Jews, young and old, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who perished at the hands of the Nazis and their willing and brutal collaborators during the bleakest, bloodiest, and darkest century of human history: ever!
A week later, we will pay tribute to the memory of the young men and women, soldiers and civilians, whose lives were stolen from them in the wars for the defence of Israel, or as victims of relentless rocket fire, ruthless terrorist attacks, and today, by brutal and wanton murder of our brothers and sisters by roaming radical thugs indoctrinated in anti-Israel and antisemitic dogma. These were and remain soul-sapping days of sorrow for the Jewish people. But, we as Jews must remember.
We must remember our joyous times and we must remember our times of calamity. We have all been personally touched by our history and we remain staggered by the horrendous loss of what might have been. But still, as bleak as some of our past may have been, we cannot allow these memories to dim, for it is the very act of remembering that strengthens us and further connects us a people. Ours is a long history filled with many chapters of slavery and freedom, sorrow and joy, persecution and redemption, and for us, it is our history, our families, and our relationship with G-d that has shaped and continues to mould our religion, our identity, our lives, and our future.
Finally, from the despair of these horrific tragedies, we are propelled to joyfulness as we cheer Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 64th birthday. Israel, the two thousand year hope of our forefathers remains our sole buttress against the tides of evil that wish to eradicate us from the face of the earth. Israel remains the source of our spiritual being and the assurance of our future. Now is the time to put action to our memories. Go to the Yom Hashoah Commemoration at Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem, 6519 Baily in Cote St-Luc on Wednesday evening, April 15, 2015 and imagine a world that might have been were it not for this monstrous cataclysm of human history. Light a yellow candle in memory of someone whose life was snuffed out because of their belief. Stand beside the ever dwindling number of survivors to show them that “Am Yisroel Chai”. Join in the Yom Hazikaron Remembrance of those brave men and women who fell in defence of Israel at the Yom Hazikaron ceremonies at Cummings House on Cote Ste. Catherine on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 and finally, come and be part of the Yom Ha’atzmaut rally in downtown Montreal on April 23rd. Do your part to let the world know that we cherish our beloved spiritual homeland. Do your part to pass forward our commitment to stand beside her, especially in these times of ever escalating concerns for her safety in a volatile Middle East. Do your part to show the world that we care! Our children’s Jewish
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Congregation Beth-El.
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Maimonides in the “Guide for the Perplexed,” 3:31 maintained that all the commandments have reasons. “Every commandment of the 613 commandments either imparts to us a true philosophy, eradicates a false philosophy, enforces a rule of social justice, nullifies injustice, bestows noble character traits, or warns against evil traits,” and “no human has any hope of understanding the reasons behind the details of a commandment (ibid. 3:26).”