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Showing posts from April, 2016

Word Association

Apologies for the lack of a formal structure. These are some thoughts that occurred to me this morning. Instead of merely jotting them down, I figured I'd write them here.  The word association occurred to me when looking at this verse during a class by Michal Horowitz that I attended this morning in Sefer Shmos 12:3:
דַּבְּרוּ אֶל כָּל עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר בֶּעָשׂר לַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה וְיִקְחוּ לָהֶם אִישׁ שֶׂה לְבֵית אָבֹת שֶׂה לַבָּיִת

Looking at  asor עָשׂר the word for 10th made me think of how the same letters with a  change in vowels can be read ashir and that transposing the lettersseir, a goat. The associations I considered were the following.
We call matzah lechem oni [poor man's bread]. The flat, plain form of bread presents a contrast to the rich bread that rises with a leavening agent. It becomes lechem ashir as a result of the addition of seor. It's a small thing, but it makes all the difference. The seor (same sound for the letters but with an aleph instead of…

Revisiting a Pesach and Rosh Chodesh theme

For Rosh Chodesh or Pesach: haysa Yehudah lekadsho As it is to soon be Rosh Chodesh Nissan, when we start really anticipating the holiday of Pesach (I meant those of us who aren't neurotic enough to start planning the day after Chanukah) I thought I'd share a piece I posted back in 2008 for Rosh Chodesh or Pesach. It was based on what  Rabbi Nosson Greenberg (currently  rav of Cong Machzikei Torah in Far Rockaway) said.
 He quoted a vort from Ma'ase Nissim by Rav Yaakov meLissa about one of the "Betzeys Yisrael Mimitzrayim"part of Hallel. The verse says "haysa Yehudah lekadsho,"pointing to the kiddush Hashem of the head of shevet Yehudah, Nacshon ben Aminadav, in jumping into the Yam Sufbefore it split. Rav Yaakov asks why the feminine form of the verb to be is used in "haysa"and answers that the verb references Tamar whose mesiras nefesh was behind the heroism of the day. She was willing to be killed rather than publicly shame Yehudah by nam…