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April Message from Rabbi Louis Zivic D.D.

Shabbat Hagadol is the time rabbis of the past used to instruct their congregants about casting out hametz and other kashrut news of the day.

I’m sure that many of you saw the NY Times article “Lighten up, It’s Pesach,” a number of years ago. The article stated that the Masorti Movement in Israel, the Conservative Movement here and the Israeli army all approve of the use of kitniyot, legumes for Pesach.

Hametz means that which causes fermentation or souring. It’s allegorical use is apparent, but on a Thurs. night Daily Show with Jon Stewart of blessed memory, the recent study on prayer and healing was lampooned.

Jon Stewart actually hit the nail on the head by stating that folks were being asked to pray for the wrong thing. People shouldn’t have prayed for something so specific. It’s not what Jews do. If the experiment had been designed by a Jewish group that knew anything about prayer, people would have been asked to pray for something like “giving the surgeon’s hands skill,” rather than something as quantifiable as was asked for in this study like please allow the surgeon to remove the tumor and get it all.

If the wrong question asked, a wrong answer may be received.

1. One can not order from God as one does from a menu. God is not a magician who performs on command.
2. A Jew should understand that we exist to serve God, God does not exist to serve us.
3. The goal of prayer is not to get what we want, but to be in intimate communication with God.

Let’s use this coming Pesach to sharpen up our prayer goals. After all Moshe Rabbenu asked to be saved from the pursuing Egyptians, not to have the Reed Sea split.

Have Chag kasher v’samayach!

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