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13-26 Nissan 5774
13-26 April 2014

The hour of love is at hand
As we prepare to welcome Pesach, festival of liberation (April 14-21) we may see important developments in Israel and the wider world as growing signs of the coming redemption.
Posted Sunday April 6, 2014
Renewal: The Time of Redemption is Now
A world run amok needs radically new solutions, and we can find them by tuning into the tremendous spiritual power of the next 65 days.
Posted Sunday March 30, 2014
Matza means struggle
Cleaning our homes of chametz (leavened products) and preparing the Matza (unleavened bread) for the coming Pesach festival (April 14) must be accompanied by inner spiritual cleansing so we may lift our heads above the raging conflicts in the world around us.
Posted Sunday March 23, 2014
The next SHAVUA TOV Hookup will be on Sunday April 27

Shabbat April 19, 2014, "Shabbat Chol HaMo'ed Pesach"
On this Shabbat, the special Torah reading for Pesach is Exodus 33:12-34:26.
Shabbat April 26, 2014
KEDOSHIM Leviticus 19:1-20:27

On Pesach it is customary to read Song of Songs after the Pesach Seder (Monday night April 14) and on the intermediate Shabbat of the festival (April 19) prior to the Synagogue Torah reading.
Commentary on Song of Songs:
Chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

KNOW YOUR BIBLE Annual Study Cycle
April 23-25, 2014
After the Pesach break, we will resume our study of the Book of Job:
Wednesday April 23
Job 33 34
Thursday April 24 Job 35 36
Friday April 25 Job 37 38

The Three Festivals Pesach The Omer Count

13-19 Nissan 5774
13-19 April 2014

Attributes of the month of Nissan: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH is the first in the order of the twelve permutations: YOD KEH VAV KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of Yismechu Hashamayim Vetagel Ha'aretz -- "Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult" (Psalms 96:11). The month's corresponding letter is: HEH; Human attribute: SPEECH; Body Part: RIGHT FOOT; Tribe: JUDAH; Constellation: RAM (Aries).

The first ten days of Nissan correspond to the letter Yod of the divine name of A-D-N-Y; the four days of checking the Paschal lamb from 11-14 Nissan correspond to the Dalet of the name. The fifty days from the first day of Pesach to the eve of Shavuot correspond to the Nun and Shavuot itself corresponds to the Aleph, signifying our complete acceptance of the kingship of G-d through our service in this period.

Saturday night-Sunday 12-13 April / 13 Nissan
Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Joseph Karo, known as the Beit Yoseph (1488-1575), author the Shulchan Aruch Torah law code that is the foundation of Jewish practice until today.

Sunday night 13-14 / Eve of 14 Nissan
Bedikat Chametz, the "Search for Leaven ":
Directly after the evening prayers it is customary to perform the search for chametz (leavened bread, crumbs and other flour products) by the light of a candle in our homes and any other premises we occupy. For detailed guidance on how to perform the search, click here.

Sale of Chametz: Those who would suffer significant financial loss by having to destroy substantial quantities of Chametz may take advantage of the rabbinic ordinance of Mechirat Chametz -- selling of the Chametz to a gentile with the proviso that if he fails to pay by a specified date, the Chametz will return to the ownership of the Jew after Pesach. The sale of Chametz should be arranged by Sunday night and may be performed on your behalf by your local rabbi.

Monday 14 April / 14 Nissan
The Fast of the Firstborn commemorating the redemption of the Israelite firstborn in Egypt is observed today. In many synagogues it is customary to complete the study of a Talmudic Masechta (tractate) and celebrate the siyyum with a festive meal, giving the firstborn the opportunity to waive their fast in order to participate in this mitzvah-feast.

Biur Chametz, the "Destruction of Leaven": Consumption of Chametz for breakfast etc. is permitted only in the earlier part of Monday morning. Consult your local rabbi for the time limit in your area. All remaining Chametz must be burned by mid-morning Monday. For detailed guidance on Biur Chametz, click here.

The Pesach Lamb or goat sacrifices were offered in the Holy Temple on the afternoon of 14 Nissan, and many have the custom of reciting Torah passages relating to this offering following today's afternoon Minchah service.

The Pesach Seder Table should be set on Monday afternoon before nightfall so that the Seder celebration may begin promptly after the conclusion of the Monday evening Yom Tov service.

Monday night 14 April / Eve of 15 Nissan
First night of Pesach: The Pesach Seder: For a complete guide to the Pesach Seder on this most important night in the Torah calendar, click here.

Tuesday 15 April / 15 Nissan
First day of the Pesach festival.

Tuesday night 15 April / Eve of 16 Nissan
Second night of Pesach. Second Seder (Diaspora):
In Israel at the end of the evening prayer service and in Diaspora after the main part of tonight's Second Seder, we commence the Counting of the Omer in which we will count 49 days until the Festival of Shavuos, time of the Giving of the Torah, which was the main purpose of the Exodus from Egypt.
Today is the Yahrzeit of Levi son of Jacob.

Wednesday 16 April / 16 Nissan
Second day of Pesach. On this day in Temple times the Omer barley offering was brought together with its associated animal sacrifices (Leviticus 23:10-13). In Israel, today is the first day of Chol HaMoed, the intermediate weekdays of the festival, while in the Diaspora it is observed as the Second Day of Yom Tov.

Thursday-Sunday 17-20 April / 17-20 Nissan
Chol HaMoed -- intermediate days of the Pesach festival.

Friday night-Saturday 18-19 April / 19 Nissan
Shabbat Chol HaMoed, Sabbath of the Intermediate days of the festival of Pesach. It is customary to read Shir HaShirim, "Song of Songs", before the synagogue Torah reading, which
is Exodus 33:12-34:26. The Haftara is in Ezekiel 37:1-14, the prophecy of the revival of the dry bones.

Sunday night-Monday 20-21 April / 21 Nissan
Seventh day of Pesach. Yom Tov commemorating the miraculous Crossing of the Red Sea and looking forward to the Final Redemption soon in our times. In Israel the Feast of Mashiach is celebrated after the Minchah service in the later part of Monday afternoon with a special meal including the customary drinking of Four Cups of wine. At this meal, the Breslover Chassidim customarily tell the story of the Baal Shem Tov's attempted pilgrimage to Israel and his miraculous delivery from shipwreck and kidnap.

Monday night-Tuesday 21-22 April / 22 Nissan
In Israel today is Issru Chag, the day after the festival, when we still wear festive clothing and eat a festive meal to allow the Pesach joy to linger with and strengthen us as we return to our weekday lives.
In the Diaspora the Pesach festival continues today with the Yom Tov of the Eighth Day of Pesach. In the Diaspora, the Feast of Mashiach is celebrated on Tuesday afternoon with the customary drinking of Four Cups of wine.

Tuesday night-Wednesday 22-23 April / 23 Nissan
In Diaspora, today is Issru Chag.

Friday night-Saturday 25-26 April / 26 Nissan

Torah reading: Parshas KEDOSHIM Leviticus 19:1-20:27,
whose many commandments are the essential "heart" of the law Torah code, at the center of which is the commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself".

This Shabbat after the Torah reading we bless the coming month of Iyar. The Molad (junction of the moon and the sun) will be on Tuesday April 29 at 4:38 and 10 chalakim p.m. Rosh Chodesh Iyar will be on Tuesday night-Wednesday-Thursday 29 April-1 May. May it come to us and to all Israel for good!

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Azamra means "I will sing" (Psalms 146:2)

"And the way to sing the song of joy is by seeking the good in all people, especially in ourselves. Each good point is one more note in the song of life!"

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov