Pesach - for men only

By Simon Round, April 24, 2008

In order to stem the tide of alienated men leaving Judaism, the Reform movement in America has come up with a wizard wheeze — the male-only haggadah.

Rabbis Dan Moskovitz and Perry Netter have adapted the Exodus story to make religion more relevant to modern men’s lives. So, the 10 plagues now include prostate cancer, hair loss, weight gain and impotence, and the four questions are given a gender twist, for instance: “Why is it that, no matter how old I get, I don’t understand women?”


Why Pesach is a time to toast the Messiah

By Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, April 24, 2008

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet explains why many Chasidim will be drinking four cups of wine on the last day of Pesach

As the final hours of the eight-day festival of Pesach draw to a close, many Chasidim gather for a final round of matzah and four cups of wine. This custom, instituted by Rabbi Israel Ba’al Shem Tov (1698-1760), is a special celebratory meal known as seudat Mashiach — or the messianic feast.


Seventh day Pesach

By Maureen Kendler, April 24, 2008

“Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels”
Exodus 15:20

This is clearly Miriam’s moment! It is the first time in the Torah Miriam is referred to as “a prophetess” and named in her own right, not as adjunct to her family members.


It's Pesach... so make sure you kosher your water

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 18, 2008

Jerusalemites will spend next week drinking, washing and flushing their toilets with Kosher le’Pesach water.

Why? Because a week before the holiday, the Israeli national water company, Mekorot, disconnected Jerusalem from the national pipeline that pumps water all the way from the Kinneret lake down to the Negev.

Throughout the Pesach week, households will have to rely on water drawn by the municipal water company, Hagihon, from local reservoirs and wells.


Anger as Pesach sale of chametz is legalised

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 17, 2008

Shops and restaurants in Israel will be allowed to sell chametz next week over Pesach following a series of legal decisions in Jerusalem.

The ruling that restaurants in Jerusalem would not have to pay municipal fines for selling unleavened products during Pesach 2007 — since the law forbidding the sale of chametz only mentioned “public display” — has angered religious politicians and activists.


Prisoner wins payout

April 17, 2008

A former prison inmate in Vermont, Gordon Bock, 53, is to receive $25,000 (£12,500) in compensation after complaining that he had been denied Pesach food and festival items during his prison term in 2004 and 2005.


This one's a cracker

By Alex Kasriel, April 17, 2008

Turkish Jews will have enough matzah for Pesach this year after the import quota of unleavened bread from Israel to the country was raised from 15 tons to 45 tons.

Until now, the community’s major supplier of unleavened bread was a bakery in Istanbul’s Sishane neighbourhood whose 50-year-old oven was constantly breaking down. So it turns out that you just can’t get the parts these days, but it may not matter as much as it used to.


Pesach in Israel shows just how divided we are

By Nathan Jeffay, April 17, 2008

If the seder meal is a time of unity, why will so many Jewish service staff in the Holy Land be working against their will?

It seems there could hardly be a greater example of Jewish unity and the power of Pesach to bring people together. Tomorrow night, thousands of Jews from across the diaspora will celebrate seder in Israeli hotels.

At first glance, the scene in the average hotel tells this happy story. But like a Magic Eye picture, on closer examination things look very different. In truth, the scene will epitomise just how polarised we have become as a religion.


How horseradish came to be the chosen herb

By Rabbi Chaim Weiner, April 17, 2008

Rabbi Chaim Weiner on how communities have preserved their history through Pesach customs

Passover is a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt. But religious rituals do not survive solely as historical reminders. Rituals that endure over time embody eternal truths that capture the imagination over time and space. The real power of Passover is that it is a celebration of freedom. It marks the struggle of a people to escape slavery and to determine their own destiny.


Extra time at Tesco

April 17, 2008

Prestwich Tesco will be opening its doors at one minute past midnight on Monday April 28 to allow customers to restock their kitchens after Pesach.

Store manager Joe Leeson said: “We have a lot of loyal customers in Manchester and we are aware of their shopping needs at specific times of the year.”

As previously reported in the JC, the Tesco in Brent Cross will also be opening specially just after midnight following the festival.