From the Desk - Passover Countdown
Shalom Friends! I hope this email finds you well and excitedly getting ready for Passover. Before I brief you on some of the important things to be aware of as we approach the holiday, I’m delighted to let you know about the phenomenal Bat Mitzvah ceremony and celebration that took place in Beth Ora on Sunday (see pic below). For the last eight months or so, Carly and Sara have been running an excellent Bat Mitzvah course. The girls have discussed many important Jewish topics and have also had the opportunity to see a mikveh, visit the Holocaust Museum and volunteer at MADA. Sunday’s ceremony was the climax of this excellent course. Each of the five Bat Mitzvah girls delivered a beautiful speech, reflecting on what they had learnt, and the parents gave a special blessing to their daughters. We were delighted that Amiel Bender participated with wonderful songs and the whole event was wonderfully choreographed by Carly and Sara. We reflected on how proud we are that Beth Ora has become a centre where these girls can deepen their appreciation for and celebrate their Jewish identity. Well done to Carly and Sara and to all of the girls and a big thank you to Mireille, Eric Dym and everyone else who helped to make the program and ceremony such a success.
The Passover Countdown Please find the brief guide to make sure you remember the essentials for the holiday. Please also find attached something useful to make sure you’ve remembered everything! Maot Chittim: Amidst our personal preparations for the holiday, please remember that there are those in our community and beyond who struggle to make ends meet over Passover. Please make arrangements to give a donation before Passover to help needy families and individuals. As you know, we have a tzedaka fund at the synagogue and if you donate to this fund, I will forward the donations to those who need them. Getting Rid of Chametz: Have a look in all the places where chametz may have entered in the course of the year. On Thursday night, a search is done around the house. You can learn more about this search here. If you haven’t yet sold your chametz, please speak to me ASAP. Fast of the Firstborn: On Friday morning, there is a fastday for firstborn males to recall the miracle of having been saved from the plague of the firstborn. Happily, the fast is waived for those who attend a happy religious event. We are providing such an event, known as a siyum on Friday at 7:15 AM to celebrate the completion of a tractate of Talmud. This is following the first service at 6:45 AM and prior to the second service at 8:00 AM. Stop Eating/Owning Chametz: On Friday morning, chametz may be eaten no later than 10:07 AM. Any chametz you are not selling must be destroyed or off your premises before 11:29 AM. After you have got rid of your chametz, there is a special declaration to be made that you can find here. The Beginning of the Festival: Candle lighting is at 7:27 PM on Friday. As the candles are lit for both Shabbat and Yom Tov, the blessing is: Baruch ata Ad-nai Elo-heinu Melech Haolam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav v’tzivanu lehadlik ner shel Shabbat v’shel Yom Tov. After saying this blessing the shehechyanu blessing is said. The earliest time for beginning the seder is 8:17 PM. On Saturday night, the candles are not lit until 8:34 PM. The blessing is made for Yom Tov candle lighting and the Shehechyanu blessing is also recited. And very importantly, have a HAPPY Passover and Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami