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Kol Dorot Daily - Moadim L'simcha

Today is DAY FOUR of the Omer.


Shalom Kol Dorot,

The Passover seders last week gave us what will surely be one of the most enduring Jewish memories of this quarantine experience—a seder table set with a special place for a laptop or cell phone. Friends and family crowded into separate boxes on a screen. Or a different kind of seder—a table for one, or two, or four.

And yet, despite everything, we gathered to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. From "This is the bread of affliction" to "Next year in Jerusalem," we heard the words of the Haggadah.

I am grateful and proud of all of you who worked to make Passover a festive day, in whatever way possible, under these bewildering circumstances. Soup and brisket were made. Matzah was eaten. In this year when we would be forgiven for forgoing Passover traditions entirely, you made the holiday come alive.

Someday they will write about this Passover and all the ways we found to stay connected to each other and our traditions when we could not leave our homes. May the lessons of this year's Passover endure with us as a blessing.

And of course, there are still three days to go! Moadim l'simcha! (More on that below.)


Rabbi Noah


Torah for Today Rabbi Noah

In Your love, Adonai our God, You have given us festivals of gladness (moadim l'simcha), holidays and seasons of joy (chagim u'zmanim l'sason)."

Kiddush for Festival Evenings

On a holiday like Passover, it is common to greet each other with "Chag Sameach!" ("Happy Holiday!") But surprisingly, "Chag Sameach" is less than 100 years old. It is probably a translation into Modern Hebrew of the Yiddish greeting "Freilichen Yom Tov!" (related to the German "Frohes Fest!"). In fact, when "Chag Sameach" started popping up, some Hebrew purists objected to it as untraditional.

So what did those Hebrew purists want us to say instead?

It turns out, Jews in different parts of the world have many different traditional holiday greetings. Among Jews of the Middle East, it is common to greet someone: "Tizku l'shanim rabot" ("May you have a long life," or literally, "May you merit many years").

For both Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews, it is common to greet people with the words quoted above, from the prayer book:

Greeting: "Moadim l'simcha" ("Festivals of gladness")

Response: "Chagim u'zmanim l'sason" ("Holidays and seasons of joy")

This greeting might be at least a little familiar to us—in our community, it's used for chol ha'mo-ed, the intermediate days of Sukkot and Passover (like today).

Admittedly, it's hard to remember. But it could be worse. The following greeting is used by the the Jews of a southern region in Yemen:

Greeting: "May you have many more years and good holidays; rejoice and be glad on your festivals and holidays and in your good days and years."

Response: "On your life and your good days."

Imagine saying that to everyone you meet coming into High Holy Day services.

Picking up on one variant I liked, I could wish all of you "Moadim l'shalom," may these Passover days be a special holiday of peace.

Credit: The information here is mostly from a Hebrew articleon the website of the Academy of the Hebrew Language.


Coming Up

7th Day Passover Festival Service with Yizkor

Wednesday, 4/15, 10:00am

Check your daily email or send a contact us for Zoom meeting details.

Last week we had a wonderful Festival Service for the First Day of Passover; we enjoyed praying together in real time. This service will also include the special Festival prayers and a little Torah, as well as the Yizkor service and recitation of names.

Due to the 7th Day of Passover, there will be NO Ethics Study Group this Wednesday.

In Case You Missed It (or Want to Repeat It)

Reaching 130 homes and almost 350 participants, Kol Dorot's Community Seder was a remarkable event—a much-needed highlight of our first Kol Dorot year. (Skip around the whole video above, or jump right to Elijah's visit.)

Rabbi Noah shares one his favorite prayer melodies, the Havdallah service setting byRabbi Noam Katz. Lorry and Franny provide the usual mix of cuteness and chaos.


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