Holy Hunger

Do we eat to live or live to eat?

More than any other Jewish holiday, Passover captures the flavors of our tradition. From  the preparation of the matzah balls soup to the kugles and more, the seder embodies the  ideal Jewish meal. We scan the aisles for the newest kosher for Passover food.

Yet, the meal symbolizes a higher purpose. We do not live to eat but eat to live. The seder night is infused with other dimensions to raise our awareness. More blessings of gratitude are recited than at any other dinner during the year. We invite guests or even strangers to join us as we celebrate. No person should be be alone.

As we observe the holiday, we affirm our commitment to building a community of kindness. A slave cannot share but as free people we have a responsibility to move beyond ourselves.

In the words of Rabbi Jospeh Soloveitchik,

Chesed means compulsive kindness, spontaneous sympathy. One is impelled to invite strangers to partake of whatever he has. Chesed does not depend upon the actual size of one’s possessions, upon numbers and figures. It is rather a spiritual attitude, a subjective experience that whatever I have is too much for me. Whatever G-d gave me exceeds my capacity to utilize or store  up.

I invite you to view a recent video on the deeper meaning of kosher for Passover foods filmed at Fairway Supermarkets.

More importantly, though, ask yourself how the experience of the Seder night will move you to live a life infused with a greater sensitivity to G-d, the Jewish people and the world.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Passover,

Rabbi Daniel Cohen

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