The seder on Pesach night opens with a mysterious practice – dipping a vegetable, “karpas,” in salt water and then eating it. This is done immediately following Kiddush, and just as the recital of the Haggada begins. Why was this practice instituted and what does it teach us about the Exodus? Understanding karpas holds the key to understanding Judaism’s approach to Pesach and the universal significance of the Exodus.
Atheists and agnostics often feel a certain void in their lives, a certain lack of meaning or awareness of something higher, or a different dimension. This is awareness is part of the human condition and is something that offers an opening into the search for meaning.
On beginning the investigation of the “God” concept, one must accept that God cannot be fully grasped: doubt is not merely a “hazard” but an integral and fundamental part of basic belief!
Purim is a festival of tremendous grandeur, splendor… and stupidity! The story of Purim as told in Megillat Esther reveals the arbitrary acts that at once were dangerous and fraught with large risk, and yet concluded as a move of courage and wisdom. Using this unusual strategy can be quite successful in chess…
The Purim story, as depicted in Megillat Esther, is miracle-less. Certainly as the events were unfolding the hand of God is absent, and it is only the keen reader who will identify the divine intervention as the drama that threatened the very existence of the Jewish People unraveled. God’s covert involvement in the world is extremely difficult to ascertain, and yet it surrounds us every moment of every day, and like the Festival of Purim, will be celebrated for all eternity.
The Jewish Calendar is an intricate, complex and complicated system that requires the input of the greatest sages, astronomers and mathematicians in order to have a calendar based on the lunar year yet coincide with the solar calendar and seasons. Seemingly, it would be far simpler to follow either the lunar or solar calendar. The secret of the Jewish calendar is the creation of a constant awareness of God’s presence.