Monday, April 22, 2019

First Night Seder 4/19/19

My new favorite machine-made matzos from Streits! They are thin and crispy, making a little mess whenever I eat them. And I can't wait to eat them every day this Passover!

Set in motion prior to my Solitary Seder (for two) this year, much learning from Rabbi Akiva Tatz and Rabbi Zushe Winner continues throughout the week. In two video classes, about one hour from each, there is so much to learn it could take me several Pesach weeks to absorb. 

I had already created this graphic for Ner Echad's page on Facebook, not knowing my relationship with matzah would change forever after listening to R' Winner's talk, over and over:

I'd say the most personally significant portion of R' Winner's talk called The Kabbalah of Pesach are captured in the following quotes and screenshots:

* We want to be a vessel to absorb Hashem's blessings.

* What is the action? Be a matzah. Flatten your past and go forward. You don't have to understand it completely.

* The faith of a child is trust in his father. It is very simple. He's just an infant and he knows to cry "Abba."

* The first step is very simple: Recognize Hashem. Get our of your own mishigas - call Abba. Say, "Hashem, my Father, my God." It is very simple. It doesn't have to be deep philosophy. 

*That is the essential connection. And that is really our faith, the essential connection. And matzah makes that essential connection.

Rabbi Winner used the round, concave, shmurah matzahs to demonstrate his point. 

Rabbi Winner sent me looking for translations of his Hebrew words because I needed more understanding of his explanation about first becoming a vessel, and then becoming a moving vehicle. 

Thanks to Steve Morse's one-step translator I enhanced the following notes from the same video:

* Kaf Lamed Yud spells Kaylee which means, "vessel." First, be a vessel. Then, spelled backwards -

* Yud Lamed Kaf spells Yaylech which means, "to walk, go." That means moving forward on our own.

First, be a vessel and then become a vehicle and MOVE. We need first to hold, then to move from holding to moving forward.

Transitioning from vessel to vehicle is what we do when we absorb our education and then go out and apply it. 

Rabbi Winner said, "What is our whole purpose to be in this world? To be a mahalek [Mem Hey Lamed, meaning to move, step, journey, distance, manner, mood]. It's not enough to be a Kaylee, you have to also be a Yaylech... The ultimate goal is to be a Yaylech, to be a mahalek, to move forward in your life."

This is part of my Pesach learning this year, 5779. I am certain it will take me at least until the High Holy Days in 2019 to unpack it all. 

In addition, Rabbi Tatz gave me great food for thought with the following words, which I heard when I was driving home from a chiropractice treatment for a sore neck!!! This is the incredible, undeniable truth. I have had a stiff neck during Passover this year, requiring not one but two visits to the chiropractor. It cannot be a coincidence...

He said, in a video provided by Jewish Workshops, "The mouth is the organ of connection. It begins in the neck and it comes out of the mouth. Those are the structures of connection. 

So Pesach is the time when speech is limited [for slaves]. Pesach means, "the mouth speaks." The Rambam says the the thing you talk about is miracles. 

We're not talking about a redemption from one place to another, we're talking about a redemption from the natural to the miraculous. We're talking about a transcendence that cannot be put into words...

We're talking a bout the redeeming of speech, giving voice to the soul...

For everything you speak in this world there must be far more inside [of you]."

I will be adding to this blog because some of my Pesach experiences are still unfolding as the holiday comes to an end, and there is, indeed, far more inside of me to share.

Early on 4/20/19, first day of Passover 2019, looking at the full moon in the western sky from our yard in North Texas.

This is year I have not counted the Omer each day. But I just heard Rabbi Labinsky describe the Omer in a way that makes me much more interested in the 49-day practice. And so far, I've only heard his introduction!