From the Desk - Second Day Yom Tov in Israel
Shalom Friends! Things are very exciting here at Beth Ora as we prepare for Passover. Please look out for the publicity marketing our services and activities over the holiday. Please remember that you still have the opportunity to arrange for the sale of your chametz to ensure that there is no chametz in your possession over Passover. Please speak to me for details or get a sale form from the office. Below, please find important information on matzah for the seder. One of the major themes of Passover is the connection we feel with Jewish people around the world. We have a particularly special attachment to those living in the Land of Israel - indeed, it was there that our ancestors were headed when we left Egypt! In that vein, we must mention that our joy at this time has been diminished by the murder of Adiel Kolman, a 32 year old father-of-four who was stabbed during a terror attack in Jerusalem on Sunday night. This came two days after two soldiers were killed and two left in serious condition after a Palestinian car ramming attack in the West Bank. May Hashem grant a speedy recovery to those who are wounded and may He give strength to the grieving families. We are very glad that more people are returning to us from Florida and we look forward to a wonderful Passover with our friends, families and community. If anyone has any questions about the observance of Passover, please don't hesitate to call me at 514-714-6559. Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
Shmurah Matzah On Seder night, there are three times when we have a mitzvah to eat matzah. There is the matzah we eat after washing our hands, the matzah we have as a marror/charoset 'sandwich' and there is the Afikomen that we eat at the end of the meal. When eating matzah on these occasions, we should use something called shmurah matzah. What is the difference between shmurah matzah and other matzah? All (Kosher for Passover) matzah is prepared under constant supervision to prevent it from becoming chametz. Shmura Matzah, unlike other matzah, is made with the intention that it will be used for the mitzvah of eating matzah on seder night. Shmurah matzah is also usually supervised from the time the grain is harvested whereas other matzah is supervised only from the time of grinding. So when you buy your boxes of matzah in the store, make sure the matzah you buy for the seder comes in a box that is marked 'Shmurah Matzah.'
What's the Deal with... Second Day Yom Tov in Israel? Here in the Diaspora, we observe two days of Yom Tov at the beginning of Passover and two days at the end. Passover comes to a total of eight days. In Israel, there is only one day of Yom Tov at the beginning and one day at the end and Passover comes to a total of seven days. I was asked the question: What if a person lives in Montreal (or elsewhere in the Diaspora) and goes on vacation to Israel for Passover. Does one follow 'the Israeli way' or 'the Diaspora way?' The first thing to note is that, as discussed last week in relation to Eilat, some places which are part of the State of Israel are not necessarily considered halachically to be part of the Land of Israel. What follows here pertains to vacations to places which are considered part of the Land of Israel. There is a difference of opinion among halachic authorities as to how many days of Yom Tov one must observe in such circumstances. The majority opinion always was that visitors observe two days. There is a minority view that visitors in Israel only observe one day. In recent years, this opinion has gained more acceptance among halachic authorities. If anyone is going to Israel and would like a more definitive answer on this question, I'd be delighted to assist!