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A Pesach message from Club Chaplain Rabbi Kastel

Posted: 28-Mar-2018 by Maccabi NSW

Dear Friends,

We are soon about to celebrate Pesach once again and with that I wanted to share a brief Pesach message

After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Let My People Go, so that they can serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to listen to G d’s command. G d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues and set the Israelites free.

Sound familiar? This is the message of the Haggadah we read year after year as we celebrate Passover with our loved ones. Not everyone is so blessed. Many are less fortunate with no place to celebrate the Passover Seder, no roof above their head and no safe secure shelter at all.  Well aware of the harsh realities of life, our great sages, the authors of the Haggadah composed the following introduction;

‘Hei Lachma Anya’, This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and conduct the Seder of Passover. This year here; next year in the land of Israel. This year slaves; next year free people.

The common theme throughout the Seder is performing thought-provoking traditions to arouse the children’s curiosity and compel them to ask questions. Thus giving us the opportunity to relay crucial insight and instruction for life’s journey ahead. It is our children that carry the burden of creating the reality of the next generation. Our youngsters will decide what Judaism will look like in 50, 60 and 70 years from now.

There are many inspirational messages we can learn from the story of Passover. What better message can and must we impart on our children than Hei Lachma Anya? Caring for those whom are less fortunate than us. Thus ensuring Judaism for generations to come

For the last 10 years I have had the privilege to work at Jewish house which has been instrumental in providing services for the homeless, victims of domestic violence and so many of the less fortunate in our community. Through the various types of accommodations and crisis intervention programs Jewish House has given thousands of people the courage to continue, prosper and hope for a better future. Each of us has their own ways of helping those in need and the Pesach Seder reminds us how important it is.

This year as you celebrate Passover with your loved ones take a moment to share this most central message of Passover with your family, to care and share for those who are less fortunate.

With warm wishes for a Kosher and happy Passover from all of us at Maccabi

Rabbi Mendel Kastel OAM

Maccabi NSW Chaplain

Rabbi Kastel will be in Nepal this Pesach - click below to read about the amazing story of the Pesach Seder in Nepal, which Rabbi Kastel helped set up 30 years ago!

CLICK HERE to read the article

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