7:00 PM - Mount Freedom Jewish Center

April 4-5, 2015 15-16 Nisan, 5775
Shabbat/Yom Tov Candle Lighting:
Friday Night Mincha: 7:00 PM
1st Day Morning Services: 9:00 AM
Shabbat Mincha – 7:00 PM
Shabbat Ends/ Candle Lighting: 8:08 PM
2nd Day Morning Services: 9:00 AM
Sunday Mincha: 7:00PM
Shul Announcements
Day 1: Page 354 (Torah)
Page 892 Maftir
Page 1221 (Haftarah)
Day 2: Page 680 (Torah)
Page 892 Maftir
Page 1222 (Haftarah
A Happy Kosher Pesach!
April Birthdays & Anniversaries
 April Birthdays: Sima Hakakian (1 ), Lauren
Rosenberg (1 ), Gregg Russo (1 ), Ira Antin (2 ),
Ilana Fishbein (3 ), Sofia Korish (4 ), Geoffrey
Lampel (4 ), Phyllis Yacker (4 ), Elyse Dickman
(5 ), Jonathan Ginsberg (5 ), Drew Levat (5 ),
Shaul Mizrahi (5 ), Ira Smith (5 ), Skip Levine (6 ),
Beth Rems (8 ), Maureen Messer (9 ), Dana
Schwarz (9 ), Alexander Brothman (11 ), Sunny
Messer (11 ), Meryl Rehaut (14 ), Jodi Silbermann
(14 ), Jennifer Sloane (14 ), Daniel Goldman (15 ),
Itai Hudes (15 ), Rebecca Brooks (16 ), Steven
Gelb (16 ), Martha Moritz (16 ), Yehudit Svirsky
(16 ), Barry Yacker (16 ), Aidan Korish (19 ), Marcy
Oren (19 ), Joel Spielman (19 ), Suzanne Hengen
(20 ), Aron Shalit (20 ), Hulelle Hudes (21 ), Steven
Dickman (22 ), Rina Hollander (23 ), Lori Blitz
(25 ), Alex Gelbert (25 ), Uriah London (25 ),
Joshua Charm (27 ), Joshua Weinstein (27 ), Bret
Ratner (29 ), Linda Rosenbaum (29 ), Caren
Strulowitz (29 ), Roz Krosser (30 )..
 April Anniversaries: : Albert & Pam Dabah (1st),
Henry & Fran London (1 ), Paul & Ilana Fishbein
(7 ), Lonnie & Zulya Moss (21 ).
MFJC INFO ~ www.mtfjc.org
Address: 1209 Sussex Tpk., Randolph 07869
Phone Numbers: Office: 973 895 2100
Rabbi: 973 895 2103; Rabbi’s Cell: 201 923 1107
Rabbi’s Office Hours: Mornings: Tues - Fri, 9-1PM;
afternoons/evenings: 3-6PM; or anytime by appt
Menashe East [email protected]
Office Hours: M-Th, 10- 5PM; F, 10-4PM
David Paris [email protected]
This Week:
April 2: Bedikat Chametz Search, 8PM
April 3: Fast of First Born – Siyyum after Services.
April 3-11: Chag Sameach – Happy Passover!!! (see
attached Schedule and Chametz Sale Form)
April 4: Tefillah Tal, Mussaf prayer for Dew
April 4: 1st Day of Omer Count & 2nd Seder
April 6-9: Chol Hamoed services, 645AM
April 7: Passover Youth Film Screening and Matzah
Pizza, 430PM
April 9: Last Days of Pesach Begin, 713PM
April 11: Song of Songs and Yizkor Services
April 12: Talmud Study, 9AM
Upcoming Events:
April 16: Thursday Torah, 10AM
April 16: Yom Hashoah Service, 7PM
April 18: Communal Torah Reading – from our Shoah Scroll
Sign up with Steve Okun to read an Aliyah from Shmini
April 19-20: Rosh Chodesh Iyar
April 19: Talmud Study, 9AM
April 20: Traditional Minyan at GRTWA, 820AM
April 21-23: Yom Hazikaron/Yom Haatzmaut
Weekday – 6:45AM
Weeknight – Upon Request (Yahrzeit)
Sunday & National Holidays – 8:00AM
Shabbat Services – 9:00AM
Fri Eve: Summer – 6:30PM; Winter – Sunset
How To Connect With Us
Mt. Freedom Jewish Center - on the Web!
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May you and your family have a zissen Pesach!
Pesach 5775 - 2015
Candle Lighting and Services Schedule
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Bedikat Chametz (Search for Chametz)
Friday, April 3, 2015
Morning Minyan
Siyum B'Chor
Finish eating Chametz before
Complete Sale and Burn Chametz
Candle Lighting
Mincha & Maariv
8:00 PM
6:45 AM
7:30 AM
10:53 AM
11:57 AM
7:07 PM
7:00 PM
Shabbat, April 4, 2015
SHACHARIT - First day of Pesach
Mincha & Maariv – 1st Day of Omer
Candle Lighting
9:00 AM
7:00 PM
After 8:08 PM
Sunday, April 5, 2015
SHACHARIT - Second Day Pesach
Mincha & Talmud Class
Maariv, Havdalah & Yom Tov Ends
9:00 AM
7:00 PM
8:09 PM
Monday, April 6, 2015
Shacharit – Chol HaMoed Pesach
6:45 AM
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Shacharit – Chol HaMoed Pesach
Youth Film Screening - Prince of Egypt
6:45 AM
4:30 PM
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Shacharit – Chol HaMoed Pesach
6:45 AM
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Shacharit – Chol HaMoed Pesach
Set up Eruv Tavshlin
Mincha & Maariv
Candle Lighting
6:45 AM
Friday, April 10, 2015
Shacharit – Seventh Day Pesach
Mincha & Maariv
Shabbat & Yahrzeit Candle Lighting
9:00 AM
6:30 PM
7:14 PM
Shabbat, April 11, 2015
Shacharit – Eighth Day Pesach
Mincha, Maariv and Final Matzah Meal
Yom Tov ends
9:00 AM
Approx. 10:30 AM
7:05 PM
8:15 PM
6:30 PM
7:13 PM
Sold Chametz can be eaten after 9PM on April 11th
From Sorrow to Joy
Please join MFJC during the State of
Israel’s High Holidays as we
remember our loss and redemption as
a people, a nation, and community.
Yom HaShoah V’Hagevurah
Thursday, April 16th
Service: 7:00 PM
Commemorate those who perished in
the Holocaust as we share stories of
our loss and resilience
Yom HaZikaron
Wednesday, April 22nd
Service: 6:30-7:30 PM
Remember Israeli soldiers who fell
defending Israel and victims of terror
who have fallen supporting Israel’s
struggle to survive
Followed by
Yom Ha’aztmaut Celebration
7:30 PM Hallel and Song
Honoring Israel’s 67th Independence
Day – We celebrate the Jewish
people’s return to Eretz Yisrael with
music and song!
Thursday, April 23rd
Festive Morning Service 6:45AM
followed by Breakfast
These programs are
Free and open to the Public!
The World Zionist Congress meets every five years to
discuss issues of vital importance to the global Jewish
community, i.e. Jewish identity, peace and security, antisemitism, civil society in Israel, and the future of the State of
Israel. Voting in the upcoming 37th WZC offers a unique
opportunity for you to cast your vote to send delegates to the
WZC to represent your voice.
If you are at least 18 years of age, live in the US, and accept the
Jerusalem Program, you are most likely eligible to vote. In the
United States, the election is managed by the American Zionist
Movement, the umbrella organization of Zionist bodies and the
representative of the World Zionist Organization in the United
MFJC Members – Go to https://myvoteourisrael.com/
and vote for a stronger American voice in Israel
By Rabbi Dov Linzer, Rosh HaYeshiva and Dean
of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School
April 3, 2015 / 15 Nisan 5775
Why Not Just Tell the Story?
The central mitzvah of the Seder night is sippur yitziyat Mitzrayim, telling the story of the exodus from Egypt.
The simplest way to do this would be to open Shemot and read the narrative directly from the Torah. This
experience would certainly be more engaging than reading the story in the Haggadah - there is greater detail
in the Torah, the plot is more dramatic, and, as one of my students recently pointed out, there are the
characters, the actors who make the story interesting. But this is not the approach of the Haggadah.
Some of the earlier rabbis even espoused the opinion that one should ignore the story and spend the evening
intensively studying (la'asok b') the laws of the Paschal sacrifice. The Mechilta, a collection of Tannaitic
writings on Shemot, contains an early second-century quote from Rabbi Eliezer: "How do you know that, if it is
a group of all sages or of Torah students that they must study in the laws of the Pesach until midnight?
Therefore it says: 'What are these testimonies...'" For Rabbi Eliezer, rigorous Torah study, indicated by the
verb of la'asok, is the core mitzvah of the evening.
However, this type of discussion is restrictive and too easily becomes elitist in nature. It is the answer only to
the questions of the chakham (the wise son or the sage): "What are these laws? Let me understand their
details and nuances." It is a talmud Torah reserved for the few, for "sages or Torah students." It works for
those that have the capacity, interest, and education for this form of study. Everyone else remains excluded.
Rabban Gamliel's approach is similar. As the Tosefta (Pesachim,10:12) relates, "There is a story regarding
Rabban Gamliel and the elders who were reclining in the house of Beitos ben Zonim in Lod, and they were
intensively studying (oskim b') the laws of Pesach the entire night until the rooster crowed. The tables were
removed from in front of them, and they gathered and took themselves to the study hall." Here, the sages are
doing the classic Torah learning of the beit midrash, delving into the particulars and subtleties of the laws. And
thus, when morning comes, what is there to do but continue? They get up and go to the beit midrash. For
them, the mitzvah of Pesach night is no different than the rest of the year; only the topic changes.
The Haggadah rejects the elitism of these two approaches. Almost no space is given to discussing the laws of
the Pesach or any other halakhot. There is only the briefest of responses to the chakham with no echo in the
rest of the Haggadah. Perhaps even the law that we teach the chakham, "One does not eat a dessert after
the Paschal sacrifice," serves to redirect this too narrow approach. The reason that we do not eat anything
after the Paschal meat is so that "the taste remains in our mouth." Perhaps we are saying to thechakham,
"You ask, 'What are the laws?' But there is more than laws, more than 'the what.' There are the reasons,
the ta'am, 'the why.' This reason, thista'am, of the mitzvah has to remain with you. Your religious life has to
extend beyond the beit midrash."
The Haggadah also tells the story of the gathering of sages differently. In its version, the sages, including
Rabbi Eliezer, were not discussing halakha. They were simply telling the narrative of the Exodus. Even these
great sages understood the mitzvah this night is to tell the story, to present a larger narrative that gives
meaning and direction to our religious lives. Where did this all begin, how did we get here, where are we
going? These are big religious questions that we can all ask and, on this night, we must ask.
The events of the following morning reflect this more inclusive approach. Rather than taking themselves to the
study hall, the sages are reminded by their students to say the morning Shema. In this, they are reminded not
to become so engrossed in their study that they forget the basic affirmation of faith that everyone does each
morning; they cannot sequester themselves in the study hall and in their narrow discourse. On the Seder
night, the next morning, and throughout the year, they must be part of the larger religious faith of the people.
Rabban Gamliel's position of the mitzvah of the evening is also transformed. Both the Mishna and the
Haggadah quote Rabban Gamliel as stating that one only fulfills his or her obligation by explaining the
symbolism of the three foods of the night: "Pesach, for what reason?... Matzah, for what reason?... Marror, for
what reason?" In contrast to the focus on the laws of the Paschal sacrifice that we find in the Tosefta, the
Rabban Gamliel of the Haggadah requires us to discuss the sacrifice in a way that is accessible to all. These
are not the technical "what" questions that are the purview of the sages and their students: "What foods are
considered marror? How much marror must one eat? Must one lean for marror?" Rather, here we find the
"why" questions of religious meaning that we all must ask: "Why do we eat marror? What is the message?
How is this relevant?"
The Haggadah, then, transforms both Rabbi Eliezer and Rabban Gamliel and presents two alternatives to
studying halakha on the Seder night:
1. Don't talk about halakha; tell the story.
2. If you do talk halakha, don't talk about the what. Instead, talk about the why.
This is the corrective to the chakham. But the Haggadah also serves as a corrective to the other extreme, to
those who would be content just listening to a story. The easiest and most universal approach is that of
the tam, asking, "What is this about?" and sitting back to listen. "Let me tell you a story" is a line that
immediately grabs our attention. Who doesn't love a good story?
But such an approach is too easy. It doesn't demand anything of us. We can be totally passive; we can just
relax and enjoy. We might be temporarily inspired by the story of the Exodus, but if we don't put ourselves into
it, we won't be transformed. This is why the simple telling of a story is also given short shrift in the Haggadah.
"We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt and God took us out from there": no detail, no engaging plot, no
characters. True, the story in Shemot is much more interesting. But the Haggadah is informing us that this,
also, is not the mitzvah of the night.
The real mitzvah is neither la'asok, to do intensive study of halakha, orli'saper, to merely tell a story. Rather, it
is to do as the Mishna in Pesachim instructs: doresh me'Arami oved avi, to explicate the verses of, "A
wandering Armenian was my father..." We are to start not with the Biblical telling of the story in Shemot but
its re-telling in Devarim. Our mitzvah is not to tell, but to retell, a story, or more accurately, to re-retell a story.
Through retelling we make the story our own. We decide what to emphasize and what to leave out; we tell it in
a way that makes us a part of the telling.
The retelling we do this evening takes a particular form. The key word here isdoresh. We engage in classic
rabbinic talmud Torah, not the more exclusivist intensive study of halakha but the Torah she'b'al peh that is
our communal heritage. This is the taking of Biblical verses, the Torah that God has given us,and explicating
them, interpreting them, asking what each phrase means. How should it be understood? How is it relevant? It
is the bringing of the fullness of our selves - our experiences, values, worldview, questions, critical thought,
and faith - into conversation with God's Torah. What results is aTorah she'b'al peh, a Torah that is both God's
and our own.
That is why the characters of the Haggadah are not Moshe, Aharon and Pharoah. The characters of the
Haggadah are Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Tarfon, Rabbi Akiva, and all those who were a part of explicating the
Haggadah, all those who found themselves in the story. The key question this night is, can we engage and
retell the story in such a way that we, too, will become characters in the Haggadah?
On the Seder night, we do not just learn halakha or tell a story. We bring these two approaches together,
telling a story through the lens of Torah she'b'al peh. The sages among us are asked to weave their narrower
Torah into a larger narrative of religious meaning, and those of us who would normally be happy just to sit
back and listen are pushed to become active participants in the telling and meaning-making. This night, we
must all make the story our own. Only in this way will it gain real traction and translate into our lives. Only in
this way will we, too, become part of the story.
Chag Sameach!
Shabbat Shalom
Pesach 5775 (1st Day of Pesach)
Efrat, Israel - The Passover Seder we have just celebrated is an evening dedicated first and foremost to the relationship
between the generations, to parents communicating to their children the agony and the ecstasy of Egyptian enslavement and
exodus – that seminal biblical drama which most profoundly forged our Israeli identity and traditions. Indeed, the masterful
booklet that tells the tale and structures (“seder” means order) the entire evening is called the Haggada (literally, telling), from
the biblical verse “And you shall tell your children [vehigadeta] on that day” (Exodus 13:3). But what if your children – or one
of your children – is not interested in hearing? What if he or she is willing to participate in the meal, but is totally tuned out of
and turned off to the ritual that surrounds and informs the meal? How are we, the parents, teachers and communicators,
supposed to respond in such a case? The Haggada is not only a text of the Egyptian experience; it is also a masterful guide to
the art of effectively parenting-communicating the message of our mesora (tradition). By its very place as the centerpiece of a
much-anticipated evening dedicated to the performance of many commandments – commandments that parents are to
experience together with their children – we learn that we can only successfully impart a value that we ourselves believe in and
act out; children will learn not by what we say, but by how we perform.
Moreover, our children-students must feel that they are the prime focus of the evening, and not mere adjuncts to an adult
happening; and the message must be molded in such a way as to respond to their questions and concerns (Maggid begins with
the “Four Questions”). Each individual must be given the opportunity to ask his/her questions and to receive answers
appropriate to both question and questioner (note the “four children” of the Seder). Finally, the atmosphere around the table
must be more experiential than cerebral, punctuated by familial stories and the fun of games (hide-the-afikoman), and warmed
by wine, food and love. Such is the Haggada’s formula for effective communication between parents and children – not just
one evening a year, but every single day of every year. But what of the apathetic, uninterested child? One of the four
prototypical children of the Seder is the “wicked child,” whom the author of the Haggada designates as such because of the
biblical question ascribed to him: “What is this service [avoda] to you?” (Exodus 12:26) Why does the Haggada assume a
negative attitude on the part of this child, who is merely seeking a relevant explanation for a ritual he doesn’t understand? The
Haggada’s answer to this child also seems unduly harsh. “‘What is this service to you’ – and not to him. And because he took
himself out of the historic Jewish community, he denied the basic principle. And so you must set his teeth on edge [hak’heh],
and tell him, ‘It is because of this [ritual] that God did for me [so many wonders] in taking me out of Egypt’ (Exodus 13:8).
‘God did for me’ and not for him! Had he been there, he would not have been redeemed.”
The seemingly abrasive response of the Haggada seems to be the very opposite of everything we’ve been positing: Set his
teeth on edge! Does this mean (God forbid) rap him in the mouth? And why switch from second person to third person in the
middle of the dialogue? First the Haggada reads, “And you tell him,” and then concludes – as if you aren’t even speaking to
him – “Had he been there, he would not have been redeemed.” Has he been closed out of the family Seder? I believe that the
most fundamental message of the Seder – indeed, of family dynamics, of classroom management and of national policy as well
– is to be inclusive and not exclusive, to make everyone feel wanted and accepted rather than rejected or merely tolerated.
Indeed, it is in the context of the response to the wicked child that the Haggada teaches that the most basic principle of our
faith is to include oneself – as well as everyone who can possibly be included – within the historical community of Israel, to be
part of the eternal chain of Jewish being, to be a member of the family. Therefore, the problem with this child’s question is not
his search for relevance; that is to be applauded and deserves a proper response. The problem is that he has excluded himself
from the familial-national celebration; he sees it as applying to “you” and not to “him.”
The author of the Haggada tells the head of the family, when confronted by a child who excludes himself from the family
ritual, to “hak’heh” his teeth; not the familiar Hebrew formhakeh, which means to strike or hit, but rather the unusual
Hebrew hak’heh, which means to blunt or remove the sharpness by means of the warmth of fire (Ecclesiastes 10:10; B.T.
Yevamot 110b). Tell him, says the author of the Haggada, that although we are living thousands of the years after the fact, God
took me – and him/her as my child – out of Egypt, because we are all one historic family, united by our family celebrations
and traditions. Tell him that the most important principle of our tradition is to feel oneself an integral part of a family that was
once enslaved and is now free – and to relive this message of the evils of slavery and the glories of freedom, because if they
happened to our forebears, it is as if they happened to us. Since we were formed by them, we are them and they are us. And so
is he/she.
And don’t tell it to him matter-of-factly by rote or harshly with animus. Tell it to him with the flame and passion of fire that
blunts sharp iron, with the warmth and love of a family that is claiming and welcoming its own as one who belongs – no matter
what. Encourage the child to take part in and feel a part of the familial- national celebration. Then, but only then, will the child
feel redeemed. And why the switch from second person to third person? Perhaps the child asked this question, and left the
table. He spoke and ran, leaving you no choice but to address him as a third person no longer in your presence. What do you
do then? I would suggest that when we open the door for Elijah, it is not in order to let the prophet in. After all, anyone who
can visit every Jewish Seder more or less simultaneously will not be obstructed by a closed door. I believe that we open the
door – in the spirit of the herald of redemption who will restore the hearts of the children to the parents and the parents to the
children – in order for us to go out, to find the “wicked child” and lovingly restore him to the family Seder table. This is the
greatest challenge of the Seder night.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Chag Pesach Sameach
I would like to share a Pesach blessing with you and your families from the Haggadah. At
the Seder you will read a lot of texts, in Hebrew, English, Aramaic or Farsi, and like other
sacred texts – the Haggadah is ancient. So, we may feel a gap between reading the
Haggadah as a familiar text which directs us in how we tell the story of our exodus from
Egypt and the actual content of the Haggadah. Why do we have a long rabbinic account of
the verses from Deuteronomy? Why do the rabbis come up with 100’s of plagues when the
Torah plainly states there were ten? Why do we care about the rabbis who stayed up
throughout the night talking exodus in Bnei Brak?
The Haggadah has two aims: The first is to teach, the second is to feel. The first half of the
Haggadah communicates the teaching with the injunction that we go through an exegetical
process of those verses in Deuteronomy. That text is a classic rabbinic style of parsing the
verses of the Torah. The Haggadah models for us how we ought to tell the story: by giving
us examples of students and masters who devote themselves to this and providing
literature to us which will encourage this kind of thinking.
With this in mind, it makes a great deal of sense to list the four sons. Here are our
archetypal students. Our community is made up of sages and heroes and the novices.
The second half of the Haggadah gives us a whole different instruction. Rabban Gamliel
tells us if we did not focus on the Pesach, Matzah and Marror elements of the Seder, we will
not have fulfilled our obligation to tell the exodus story. We need to move from the mind to
the heart and touch. We look at the Matzah and Marror when we arrive at this event and we
experience the symbols that were essential for our redemption narrative. Where the first
half wanted us to start from the negative story and move to the positive story – ‘We were
slaves.’ In the second half, we show the bitter herbs; the tangible object reminds us of the
horrors of slavery.
In this section, it makes sense that we begin the Hallel songs of praise – the very particular
songs that describe our redemption event. In an experiential framework, songs belong; in
the intellectual, didactic approach – we use our mind – the art and beauty is the thought we
construct and the questions we can ask.
This double approach – the mind and the heart – to engaging the Pesach story is very
important. For the rabbis, when a student would ask a question then the Seder could
commence. What if the student was like the child who does not know what to ask? Then,
the story is a flat experience. We put the words in that student’s mouth for her. But the
dialogue and intellect is not the limit of engagement. The child can sing the praise and feel
as if she were released from slavery in Egypt. That requires imagination and a grateful
In either approach, the participants of the Seder and the readers of the Haggadah are
shown a path where they must extend themselves. We are told to stretch the limits of the
text of Torah. Or, we are told to imagine and experience an event that comes from a
different age; some of us may be uncomfortable singing or holding a tune, but on this
night we lift our voices and dream. And that is where we will feel the blessings of Pesach
this year. If we stretch ourselves wide we will become more.
Chag Kasher V’Sameach and Zissen Pesach to all,
Rabbi Menashe East