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April 14, 1989 - Image 79

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-04-14

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A Toast
To Jewish Living

.0 04 Passover: Let All Who Are Hungry Come And Eat


David Gad-Had is executive
director of the Jewish Community
Council of Metropolitan Detroit and
the author of this month's main
L'Chayim feature. For each issue of
L'Chayim, a rabbi, a Jewish
educator or other notable from the
community will present an overview
of the month's theme.

At Passover, Jews are called
upon to remember our deliverance
from bondage. The Torah tells us, in
remembering those bitter times, to
"show kindness to the stranger, as
you were strangers in the land of
Egypt." The importance of this
message is re-affirmed in the
reading of the Haggadah, where we
say: "Let all who are hungry, come
and eat."
As we are obliged to recall the
days of our own bondage, Jewish
tradition also underscores our
mandate to work for the liberation of
all oppressed peoples. In our time,
the twin yokes of homelessness and
hunger oppress millions of people in
the United States.
Acting in its capacity as an
umbrella representing the entire
metropolitan Detroit Jewish
community, the Jewish Community
Council is coordinating Project
Chametz. The Project Chametz
mandate is twofold: first, to teach
and re-emphasize the importance of
Bedikat Chametz, the search for
and removal of leavened products
from Jewish homes prior to
Passover. The second is to unite the
entire Jewish community in an effort
to relieve the suffering of the hungry
among us, even as we take time to
remember our own redemption from
slavery centuries ago.
This is the first year of
operation of Project Chametz
However, the combined efforts of all
of our Jewish organizations are
essential to the success of the
program. In the spirit of unity, the

Continued on Page L-2

Sit Seder Quartets: Passover And The Number 4




Have you ever noticed how
important the number four is to the
Passover seder? For example,
according to the Mishnah (Pesachim
10:4), every participant in the seder
should imbibe "not less than four
cups of wine" (or grape juice). Later
tradition holds that each of the four
cups represents one of the four
divine promises of redemption
which appear in Exodus 6:
I am Adonai. I will free you
from the burdens of the Egyptians
and deliver you from their bondage.
I will redeem you with great power
and wonders, and I will take you to
be My people and I will be your
God . . .
There are also, of course, the

"Arba Kashot," "Fier Kashes," or
"Four Questions." The "Four
Questions" actually is one query
with four replies. Mishnah Pesachim
(10:4) instructs us that, after the
second cup of wine is poured, the
child inquires of the parent and is
instructed along these lines:

Why is this night different from
all other nights? Because on all
other nights we eat leavened or
unleavened bread; tonight we eat
only unleavened bread. Because on
all other nights we eat all kinds of
vegetables; tonight, only bitter
herbs. Because on all other nights
we eat meat which is roasted,
cooked or boiled; tonight, only
roasted meat. Because on all other
nights we do not have to dip even

one time; tonight we dip two times
(with the karpas — greens and with
the maror — bitter herbs).

The preceding version of the
"Four Questions" is found in the
Babylonian Talmud. The Jerusalem
Talmud makes the same points, but
in different order. After the
destruction of the Second Temple,
the reference to meat (an allusion to
the Passover sacrifice which had to
be roasted), was omitted and
replaced by, "Because on all other
nights we eat either sitting or
reclining; tonight we only recline"
(in the posture of free citizens in
ancient times).
The aforementioned Mishnah
(Pesachim 10:4) also advises,

Continued on Page L-4

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