Counting the Omer with chocolates and paper flowers
Worth reading: Seon Joon Sunim on ordination

Three reminders before Pesach


If you're still looking for a haggadah, there are two versions of the Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Pesach online: version 7.2 (48 pages, abridged and expanded, 2012) and version 7.1 (84 pages, 2011). Both are available for free download.



 During the 7 weeks of the Omer count, I'll be posting daily Omer reflections to my congregational From the Rabbi blog each day. If you use an RSS reader, you can subscribe to the Omer category; alternatively, you can sign up to receive the blog via email (in which case you'll receive daily Omer posts plus whatever else I share there during those seven weeks.)



There's a lovely little ritual which is done on the evening before the first seder -- this year, Thursday, April 6. It's called Bedikat Chametz. You hide some bits of bread around your house, and then -- using a feather and a wooden spoon, by candlelight -- gather up the bits of bread and then burn them the next morning. (If you have kids, this can be a fun sort of scavenger hunt for them.) And once you've found all of the hidden bits of bread, there's a simple blessing to recite.

In the Hasidic understanding, hametz (leaven) can be understood to represent the puffery of ego. (If you're interested in this, I recommend a post from a few years back -- Passover, matzah, dialectics.) Finding the hidden leaven can represent the process of soul-searching and discernment involved in cleansing your spiritual "house" on the cusp of this festival of liberation. Anyway, if you're interested, here's a simple one-page ritual for Bedikat Chametz, the ritual search for leaven: BedikatChametz. [pdf]

Wishing all of y'all a zissen Pesach, a sweet Passover!