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April 2, 2007

Passover Points to Ponder

Today at sunset begins Passover, which marks the escape of the Jews from slavery and oppression at the hands of the Egyptians thousands of years ago. We would like to share with you the following timely commentary sent to us by long-time JPFO supporter Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe.

Dear Aaron,

Let me wish you a happy Passover "CHag Kasher Ve'sameach". Two notes of interest about Passover:

1) In the reading for the Seventh Day of Passover, the Torah makes the point "...and armed the Jewish people left Egypt" (Exodus 13:18) The Ibn Ezra (12th century) writes that this was to show that they left as a mighty and free people, not like slaves who run away. A free people is an armed people.

2) I have come across a great piece of Nachmanides (13th Century) on Genesis 4:20-24. The verses read:

20. Now Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle.
21. And his brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who grasp a lyre and a flute.
22. And Zillah she too bore Tubal cain, who sharpened all tools that cut copper and iron, and Tubal cain's sister was Na'amah.
23. Now Lemech said to his wives, "Adah and Zillah, hearken to my voice; wives of Lemech, incline your ears to my words, for have I slain a man by wounding (him)? A child by bruising (him)?
24. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then for Lemech it shall be seventy seven fold."

Ramban:

Lemech was very wise and taught one son herding, the other music, and the third metallurgy. His wives remonstrated with him the ironworking would enable the production of weapons and bring murder to the world. He responds to them: "I have done no guilt as I have killed no one as Cain has. It is not the sword that kills, but the bad choice by a man. Without as sword a man could kill another by wounding and battering as did Cain, who I am not alike to."

To paraphrase: "Swords don't kill people - people kill people".

May G-d bless us all with true freedom and complete redemption this Passover.

- The Liberty Crew

PS: Innernet.Org has a wonderful collection of Passover stories available at http://www.innernet.org.il/catagories.php?pid=20 or http://tinyurl.com/yodd8p . We highly recommend them!

You may also enjoy "If the Passover Story Were Reported Today" at http://www.ou.org/shabbat_shalom/article/if_the_passover_ story_were_reported_by_cnn_or_the_new_york_times/ or http://tinyurl.com/2xemew


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