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Pesach, Shabbat Chol HaMoed: Seasonal Ingredients

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Published: 4/19/14

When you have nothing to talk about, talk about the weather.

On one hand the weather is completely arbitrary and out of our control – which is why it’s so common to hear, “Hey, it’s so nice out today.” On the other hand, weather is integral to the structure of the universe and a reflection of its movements.

And what about Judaism – is it like the weather or not? Is Judaism seasonal or is it unchanging? Does Judaism, the Torah – or God for that matter – go through cycles of change or are they all constant, rigid, and fixed?

Today is both Shabbat and Passover. Passover is in the spring, when it is beautiful outside, not too cold, not too hot, not too rainy. Shabbat is all year round. Indeed, Shabbat is the opportune time for rain.

Passover is a time of travel, from Egypt to the Promised Land, from exile to redemption. For travel, we require beautiful weather. Shabbat is a time to return home. When at home, it is cozy when it rains.

What happens when Shabbat and Passover intersect? What does that teach us? Are we seasonal or beyond?

As this sermon shows, the convergence of Shabbat and Passover contains one of Judaism’s greatest secrets – making timelessness become both timely and timeless.

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