Monday, March 29, 2010


14th of Nisan, 5770 Erev Pesach

In order to persuade Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go free, the Almighty inflicted upon Egypt ten plagues. The last one, the plague that finally persuaded Pharaoh, was the death of the first-born. While every Egyptian first born was killed the Almighty “…Pasach al Bate Bene Israel beMitzraim beNogfo et Mitzraim… ”( Shemot –Exodus- 11:27) …protected the houses of the people of Israel and no one was killed.

The proper translation of the word Pesach then, should be “Protection” not, “Passover.” That is how the ancient Targum Onkelos rendered “pasach”: “Chais” from Chas, which means to protect, to care. While through the Mashchit -Malakh haMavet “angel of death”- God was inflicting this plague to the Egyptians, He “himself”, so to speak, was protecting the Jewish houses. In remembrance of this special protection, this festival is named “Pesach”.

The idea of “Protection” gives more sense to this festival, which not by a chance is also called Lel Shimurim, “Night of (Divine) protection”. It also reinforces the idea that our main right as the chosen people is that the Almighty promised to protect us -as a people- from extinction. And so far He has delivered.

As we celebrate the special protection the Almighty granted us in Egypt we pray to the Almighty for His protection in these times too. May HaShem bless all of us and our families and may He always protect our beloved Medinat Israel and all our brothers and sisters who lived there. AMEN!!!

Chag Sameach!!!