Thursday, March 29, 2012

If Only They'd Lettuce Alone

PESACH TIMES - SELL YOUR CHOMETZ - see bottom of email


Question of the Week:


I am confused about the maror, the bitter herbs eaten at the Seder. I always thought you are supposed to use horseradish. But then I heard that we should use cos (or romaine) lettuce leaves, with a spoonful of fresh horseradish. I eat lettuce with my salad all year round, and it is not bitter. If anything it is quite sweet tasting. So why eat lettuce to commemorate the bitterness of Egyptian slavery?


Your sweet lettuce is a sneaky little vegetable. Its nature very closely parallels the Egyptian slavery experience.

Indeed, lettuce has a gentle and pleasant taste. That is because we pick it when it is young. But leave the lettuce stalk in the ground for a bit longer, and it turns bitter and pungent. What starts off sweet turns sour in the end.

This was the exact course of events in Egypt. When the Israelites first arrived, they were warmly welcomed and made to feel at home. Pharaoh invited them to assimilate into Egyptian culture and society, to participate in the economy and become fully-fledged citizens.

The trusting Israelites accepted his offer with relish (another reason we eat horseradish). They felt honoured to be accepted by such an illustrious nation as Egypt. And this was their downfall. They had been duped. The friendliness was a façade. Once Pharaoh had seduced the Israelites into a false sense of security, he could easily manipulate them. Before long, the welcome turned bitter, and the Israelites were enslaved. Like the lettuce stalk, it all seems sweet at first, but given some time it turns bitter.

So at the Seder we eat lettuce. Not the mature and embittered type, but rather lettuce that is still tasty and sweet. Because the sweet lettuce is the bitterest of them all.

The Egyptian slavery did not start when the Egyptians turned on the Israelites. It began when the Israelites felt comfortable in Egypt. That country, the superpower of its day, was renowned for its low moral standards. When the Israelites became impressed by Egypt's grandeur and lured by its sweet welcome, they lost something of themselves. When they took pride in the attention they received from a tyrant, they lost their freedom.

The same is true to this day. When as Jews we measure our self-worth by how much our neighbours accept us, when we fawn for the approval of those whom we deem more powerful than us, when we shape our identity to conform with what others expect of us, we have sold our souls into slavery.

We eat lettuce to remind us that not all that tastes sweet is indeed sweet. A bitter herb, no matter how sugar-coated, is still a bitter herb. There's nothing as bitter as selling your soul to be accepted, and there's nothing as sweet as the freedom to be yourself.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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NEFESH SERVICES - 54 Roscoe St Bondi Beach



Friday night

Candlelighting 6:35pm (not before 5:42pm)

Mincha 6:00pm

Shabbos Service 6:30pm followed by Kiddush in honour of the batmitzvah of Honey Meltzer- Mazal Tov!


Shabbos Day

9am Class on Weekly Parsha

10am -12:35pm Morning Service with Kids' program followed by Kiddush in honour of the naming of Lisa & Nathan Peles' baby girl - Mazel tov!

Lechaim sponsored by Moshe David in honour of the yarzeit of his late father David ben Rachel - Long Life.

Shiur: 5:30pm

 Mincha 6:30pm followed by Seudah Shlishis and Maariv


Shabbos ends 7:29pm



8am - followed by shul clean-up for Pesach (volunteers needed) - 

no Talmud shiur


Monday and Thursday

Shachris 7am followed by Chassidus 8:00am-8:45am





Friday April 6 Erev Pesach

Shachris 8am followed by Siyum for Fast of the First Born

Eat chometz until 10:02am. Burn and sell before 11:00am

Candlelighting 5:26pm

Mincha 5:35pm

Pesach Evening Service 6:00pm - 6:45pm


Shabbos April 7 First day Yomtov

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm

Mincha 5:30pm followed by words of Torah

Evening Service 6:15pm - 6:45pm, begin counting the Omer

Candlelighting not before 6:20pm


Sunday April 8 Second day Yomtov

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm

Mincha 5:30pm followed by words of Torah

Evening Service 6:10pm

Yomtov ends 6:18pm


Monday - Thursday Chol Hamoed

Shachris 8am


Thursday April 12 Yomtov Shvii Shel Pesach

Candlelighting 5:18pm

Mincha 5:25pm

Evening Service 6:05pm


Friday April 12 Yomtov Shvii Shel Pesach

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm

Candlelighting 5:17pm

Mincha 5:25pm followed by words of Torah

Evening Service 6:00pm - 6:45pm


Shabbos April 13 Yomtov Acharon Shel Pesach

Shachris 10am - 12:45pm 

Yizkor approx. 11:30am

Mincha 4:45pm followed by Seudas Moshiach for men in shul to end the Yomtov

Seudas Moshiach for women 4:45pm at 128 Wellington St Bondi 

Yomtov ends 6:11pm

Please allow half an hour before eating chometz that was sold







In order to avoid owning any products that aren't Kosher for Pesach, we sell our non-Pesach food for the duration of the festival. To arrange this, please fill in your name (signature not required) and all addresses (work/holiday home included) on the form below and email to by Thursday April 5.
I, the undersigned, fully empower and permit Rabbi Moss to act in my place and stead, and on my behalf to sell all Chometz possessed by me, knowingly or unknowingly as defined by the Torah and Rabbinic Law (e.g. Chometz, possible Chometz, and all kinds of Chometz mixtures).  Also Chometz that tends to harden and adhere to the inside surfaces of pans, pots, or cooking utensils, the utensils themselves, and all kinds of live animals and pets that have been eating Chometz and mixtures thereof.  This includes all above mentioned Chometz that will come into my possession from now until Erev Pesach. He is also empowered to lease all places wherein Chometz owned by me may be found, particularly at the address/es listed below and elsewhere.
Rabbi Moss has full right to appoint any agent or substitute in his stead and said substitute shall have full right to sell and lease as provided herein.  He also has the full power and right to act as he deems fit and proper in accordance with all the details of the Bill of Sale used in the transaction to sell all my Chometz, Chometz mixtures, etc., as provided herein.  This power is in conformity with all Torah, Rabbinic and Civil laws.



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