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April 7, 2017  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

Chag Kasher v’Sameach!

By RABBI ALTER KORF Chabad Center of St. Petersburg

I often think how truly blessed we are to be celebrating Passover, the festival of Freedom, in the United States. Unlike my immediate ancestors, who were trapped in Stalin’s Soviet Union, I am free to practice my religion with joy and pride. While they hid in cellars while they learned Aleph Beit and Chumash, we can do so openly and freely. What a blessing!

While giving a class on the importance and significance of Pesach in today’s day and age, I asked those present to share what they feel is important and a strong focus in their family.

The number one response shared was the notion of vehigadeta levincha, “and you shall relate it to your son [child].”

The celebration of the Festival of Freedom is deeply connected with the commandment “you shall relate it to your son.” Our existence as a nation depends on our education of the youth. It begins in the home, and continues in the formal setting at school, and the informal setting of learning from community role models.

As we know, the Hagaddah tells us of four sons. The wise and the wicked (for now), the simple and the one who knows not what to ask. It is imperative that we understand our responsibility to our children, and not assume our children (with their natural inclinations) will fall into one of these four categories.

It would be fallacious for some to say, “My child is a wise one; he will find his own way in life, so Jewish education isn’t so necessary for him. So must we not despair by thinking, “My child is a too far from Judaism; no point in investing in his education, as it won’t help him.”

All of our children, boys and girls, are “G-d’s children,” and it is our sacred duty to see to it that they all live up to this designation.

We can achieve wonders through giving them a Jewish education, and by living lives that our children can emulate – in full adherence to G-d’s Torah.

May we all merit to have much nachas and see the realization of our ardent hopes, “Next year may we be in Jerusalem!”

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. The views expressed in this guest 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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