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Dayyenu is enough — really?

ONE of the most popular parts of the Passover seder is Dayyenu. Jews love it and sing it over and over. For many children, it is their earliest memory of the seder.

There is a problem, however. The words of Dayyenu seem to make no sense. Take this stanza: If He had given us the Egyptians’ wealth and had not divided the sea for us, it would have been sufficient.

Really?

We would have stood at the shores of the Reed Sea, the armed chariots of the Egyptians in hot pursuit. Our new found wealth would not have stopped the Egyptians from slaughtering us or re-enslaving us, not to mention retaking our wealth. Obviously, it would not have been sufficient had G-d given us the Egyptians’ wealth without an escape route.

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View from Central Park

The target was The Jew

It’s never a good time to hear about a painful senseless act of hate and violence against our people. But there is something additionally poignant about it that punches you in the gut as you are immersed in preparing some new Haggadah thoughts for the seder, and up to your neck in Passover cooking with Yonatan Razel’s “Vehi She’amdah” playing in the background. I will never forget the first newscast after the Passover holiday was over in Israel, when the Park Hotel in Netanya Israel w...
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Liberal Lens

Other people’s corruption

IN America, there is regular ol’ corruption, and then there is Chicago Corruption, with a capital “C.” America’s third largest city is so notoriously corrupt, all you have to do is say “Chicago politics” and many people instantly start making jokes about payoffs and reciting lines from “The Untouchables.” Yet, while the Windy City’s brand of corruption is extreme, it is also emblematic, as a recent spate of revelations prove. Chicago is facing a pension shortfall for its poli...
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Voice from Israel

Is all Zionism really religious Zionism?

PASSOVER 5774 EDITIONSECTION C PAGE 23 There was a great deal of religious ambivalence about Zionism in its early years. On the one hand, the return to the Land of Israel had always been a religious aspiration of the Jewish people, and yet the nascent movement was a secular movement to its core, whether in the neutral sense that it viewed state-building as a non-religious endeavor, or in the anti-religious sense of jettisoning the exilic Jewish past in favor of a new Jew and a new anticlerical...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:56 )

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View from Central Park

Happy Birthday, Aviv(a)

PASSOVER 5774 EDITIONSECTION C PAGE 24 Every year, my niece Aviva has the longest birthday party in the world. She was born seder night. And boy is it fun milking her birthday for all you can. The years we share seder with her, she is the centerpiece of the evening. Clearly, in her honor, dessert for Seder night calls for a kosher for Passover birthday cake, a joyous culinary challenge to come up with. Of course, since her birthday is seder night, her actual party with her peers is after Passo...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:50 )

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