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2017-03-24 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


March 24, 2017  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

Give thanks for freedom to care

By RABBI GARY KLEIN Temple Ahavat Shalom, Palm Harbor

Passover, which begins this year on Monday evening, April 10, is one of our most important holidays. The exodus from Egypt is probably the most significant event in the history of the Jewish people. Passover teaches us that slavery is unacceptable.

We celebrate Shavuot seven weeks after Passover. The themes of the two festivals are closely related. Our tradition even instructs us to count the days between the two holidays. The exodus from Egypt, which we commemorate at Passover, is incomplete without the revelation of Torah at Mt. Sinai which is the theme of Shavuot.

Real freedom requires obedience to moral commandments, a commitment to generosity and an attitude of respect for God and all of God’s creation. People often need to be reminded of the relationship between freedom, responsibility and generosity.

Even in the United States many still need to learn that only in a society where everyone is offered the opportunity to enjoy a decent life is freedom safe. Only if we share our good fortune with those less fortunate than us, are we really free.

The freedom for which we offer our gratitude at Passover is not just the freedom to live pleasant lives, it is also the freedom to create caring and compassion and a commitment to liberty and equality. This is the message of Passover and our enduring hope.

I hope you all enjoy a meaningful Passover.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press in cooperation with the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the board. The views expressed in the column are those of the rabbi and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Press or the Board of Rabbis.

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