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Friday, 26 April, 2019 - 3:02 pm

 By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,


Nearly six thousand guests were hosted at the first night Seder by Chabad of Thailand.

That news made the headlines in Jewish websites around the world.

The mere breadth and scope is exciting. The Seders pulsated with a G-dly inspiration. (scroll below for a video recap of the multifaceted preparations leading to Seder).

Though, if I have to choose, what particular moment inspired me this Pesach, it comes from an unlikely incident that took place just before Pesach.

On the morning of Erev Pesach one of the Shluchim in Thailand called me to guide him on how to deal with the following sad situation. A traveling couple had lost their child during the sixth month of pregnancy. There was now a fetus to be buried. Parents to be guided through their loss.

At the same time it was less than ten hours away from the Seder night. There were hundreds of guests expected at the Seder and the rabbi had a whole list of preparations that still needed to be carried out.

The details are not important for this discussion. Let me suffice by saying that the Jewish traditions pertaining to burial of the fetus were carried out exactly as they should be.

As well, the Seder for many hundreds of guests at that location went off without a hitch thank G-d.

The delicate balance between hosting the crowds while not overlooking the needs of the individual were achieved in this situation. While the collective of the community of hundreds was tended to and inspired by the well-organized Pesach Seder, the individual needs of a couple going through a traumatic event were equally filled.

I am inspired by my younger colleague.

It must have been a challenge to get this curveball of an unexpected sad issue to deal with on the morning before Pesach. He rose to the task and did what was the right thing.

And somehow it all came together.

He did the right thing, and G-d blessed him to have time both to deal with the individual and to go on to successfully implement his large communal Seder.

As with any inspiration, it’s all about the better life choices and actions that it spurs in the behavior of the one who was inspired. G-d willing it will influence my actions as well as those who choose to be likewise inspired by my recounting of the event.

Not to lose focus on individuals even while catering to the masses.

And to do what is right even if it looks overwhelming. Just focus on doing the next right thing. G-d Almighty is the Master of the universe. He can and does make the unthinkable become a reality.

Interesting that the topic of fetuses has dominated my thinking as I write this column. It is actually quite relevant to the second part of Pesach that begins tonight.

On the Seventh day of Pesach (beginning tonight April 25) we commemorate the splitting of the sea and the crossing of the Jewish people on dry land. A dry sea bed where the enormous amounts of seawater usually was.

This was one of the greatest miracles of all times. The Jewish people were overwhelmed with gratitude to G-d for this unimaginable miracle of epic proportion.

They sang a song of thanksgiving. It is called the ‘song of the sea’. (We sing it every day in our morning prayers).

Who sang?

Better ask, who didn’t sing!

Everyone sang. From young to old. The men sang. The women sang. Suckling babes sang.

The Talmud tells us something quite startling:

The fetuses in their mother’s wombs sang!

Thus, truly the entire body of the People of Israel sang out to G-d.

The adults gave conscious thanks to G-d for the mighty and awesome miracle. The children followed the example of the adults.

The fetal singing represented something even deeper that the song of those who had already been born.

The singing of the fetuses to G-d emanated from the very deepest space in the human experience. From the primordial stages of life. Even while safely ensconced in the womb of the mother, as the developing body and soul were fusing and preparing to become a new life, they already sang out in thanksgiving to G-d.

Tonight, thirty-three hundred and one years ago, G-d split the sea for our ancestors.

As we enter the day of the splitting of the sea, the Kabbalists tell us that these events are once again spiritually reenacted.

Both the miracle of the sea splitting. Represented by the ability to achieve the previously unimaginable. (see below article by Aaron Moss).

As well as singing the song of praise to G-d.

A song that emanates from the deepest place in our souls.

The song of thanksgiving to G-d that resonates in every fiber of our being. From our earliest embryonic subconscious state, to the highest peaks of our intellectual prowess.

We are saved and thus we sing.

We sing and thus we are saved.

Join in tonight and tomorrow as we celebrate our complete escape from Egypt via the splitting of the sea.

Sing because we have been saved!

And then Sing to be saved!

On Shabbat – the grand finale of Pesach – sing the song of anticipation. We do this by celebrating the Seudat Mashiach (meal symbolizing our longing for the coming of Mashiach).

Click here for ‘what why and how’ about the Mashiach meal.

May Hashem grant us all the gift of liberation from our personal vices and constraints.

May Hashem bring Mashiach and liberate the world from the pain and insecurity of un-G-dly living, ushering in the everlasting peace we all yearn for.

Chag Sameach,

Shabbat Shalom,

We Want Mashiach NOW!!!

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

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