Passover Resources

Passover 5784
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It’s time to prepare for Passover.  The first step is cleaning the house of all Hametz. If you would like to sell your hametz and or participate in Ma’ot Chitim (giving to the needy), please click on this link.

If you would like to learn more about preparing for Pesach, the RA Guide is here.

If you are interested in resources for discussing October 7 as part of your Seder, Cantor Leah will be happy to provide you with free resources for all age ranges. Please don’t hesitate to email  at . In addition, the Cantor highly recommends the AJR supplement Seder Interrupted: A Post October 7 Hagaddah Supplement, available in soft cover on Amazon, or get a free downloadable PDF from AJR, by filling out this form.

Shalom, Mishpachat Melville Jewish Center:

For many Jews, Pesach is a favorite holiday because of the Seder, memories of hunting for an Afikomen, and of course, Matzah Brei—a delicacy I am working to veganize this year! For me, the week before Pesach is also filled with warm memories. My parents, siblings, and I worked to clean and Kasher the kitchen—moving three sets of dishes out, and three sets of dishes in—all to the sound of music. My mother was a master conductor of Pesach prep; my father, a Chametz hunter extraordinaire—so long as he only put the Chametz we kids were to find in pre-approved, easy-to-clean spots. Pesach warms me all over every year.

This year, however, is different. It has been different from the start. With the Hamas attacks of October 7, we were all swiftly removed from any “normal” Jewish year just as the last of the holidays ended. There is no normal in 5784.

But Pesach resounds especially for me this year. How can I sit at a table and talk of freedom and redemption as 133 Jewish bodies (some no longer living) remain in captivity? How can I sing Dayeinu, when I have not been, and cannot be, satisfied until they are home? How do I rejoice when people I love are putting their bodies on the literal line for the State of Israel (my home) every day?

As a former writing professor, I generally hate rhetorical questions. The list of questions above are not at all rhetorical. I do not know how to do the things. I am at a loss. And I know I’m not the only one.

But I do know some things. I know that Judaism is a radical religion that 4500 (or more) years ago began to teach us how to continue and walk through the everyday, when nothing was normal. Judaism gives us specific steps and guidelines for each of our days. This is not to create a dogmatic religion of legalistic mumbo-jumbo. Rather, our Jewish structure is there to provide us with guardrails for times like these. We cannot crumple under the weight of current events, and having thousands of years of history wherein we did not crumple, we did not give in, and we did not disappear from the face of the Earth—no matter how hard our attackers tried—gives us something to hold on to while we walk through this terrible time. 

By sitting and discussing the Exodus, reading the conversations of the great rabbis, and eating a festive, community-forming and reaffirming meal together, we grab that guardrail. We can picture the first Pesach, first Pesach in Ge’ulah (exile), first hidden Pesach in a basement in Cordoba, Spain, first Pesach in the Warsaw Ghetto, and even a Pesach in an underground tunnel. We can hold on to each other and to the knowledge that being together is what keeps us alive. This Pesach, remember to hold each other, to do the things, and to open the door for Eliyahu HaNavi.

I wish us all a Chag Sameach,

Dr. Leah F. Cassorla, Cantor-Education Director