April 2020: Pesach Messages

Why is this year different from all other years?  Perhaps it is not.  After all, the Haggadah teaches us    בכל דור ודור חייב אדם לראות את עצמו כאלו הוא יצא ממצרים --   “in each generation we must see ourselves as if each of us had personally left Egypt.” 

There is something very comforting and strengthening about our people connecting with each other, year after year after year, across the span of generations past and to come, knowing that each of our generations has dealt with great hardships and we have always survived.   We are here to celebrate yet another Pesach!.

While coping with the fallouts of this plague upon us today, at this time of Pesach we are bolstered by our eternal optimistic vision of leaving Egypt, of surviving plagues, of seeing beyond the present difficult circumstances towards a bright future.

As challenging as the current situation is, as difficult as it is for people to maintain a forced distance from each other – particularly at Pesach, we should all keep prominently in mind our great pride in being part of a people that does not give up or give in, that is positive in outlook and resolute in belief, and that each year without fail celebrates the Pesach message of redemption – for our generation and all others.   

And this year shall be no exception.  As the Israeli slogan goes, “we overcame Pharaoh, we’ll overcome this as well.”

Please, make every effort to celebrate Pesach this year as best as you can.  May each of us soon know redemption from the plague, and may we soon experience the joy of renewed togetherness. 

חג כשר ושמח – a happy and sweet Pesach to all of you!


Rabbi Pearl  

Towards the End of Passover

It has been said that “music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  Right now it would seem that everyday life is very dusty indeed. Among the various activities in which many of us are engaging in order to deal with the ill-effects of quarantine, embracing the mind-stimulating, body-relaxing, and soul-soothing sounds of music might be among the most practically and spiritually beneficial.

With this in mind, I would of course recommend listening to some Beethoven, and even other classical music, in addition to so many other genres of music that generally enhance your life. But at this moment, as we are experiencing the last days of Pesach with its conclusion quickly approaching, there is one music video in particular that I want to share with you. This medley of various Passover songs is remarkably performed by some 20 members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of its music director, all of whom are isolated from each other in quarantine. Through technological wizardry, with musical radiance, and infused with the Jewish n’shamah, this musical work of art and soul succeeds in helping us wash away some of the dust of everyday life surrounding us at this time.

I hope it brings a smile to your face and light into your hearts – enjoy!

Sending best wishes to each of you to enjoy these last-days-of Pesach.

See you online!


Rabbi Pearl

Here is the link: https://www.afipo.org/backstage/video-gallery/ Press the play button there, and then the play button again on the next screen it takes you to.