unraveller
http://www.agudas-achim.org
The FJMC Sefer Haftarah is at Agudas Achim, San Antonio, TX Next week it will be at Beth Israel, Owings Mill, MD

This week's Unraveller is sponsored by 1350 Beth Sholom, Melbourne, Florida


Metzorah, this week's regular portion in the FJMC Sefer Haftarah scroll, the travelling haftarah scroll which visits a different synagogue each week and contains all of the haftarot, has been sponsored by Beth Torah Benny Roc Campus Men's Club, North Miami Beach, Florida, our "double" sponsor this week. Yasher Koach!
The Sefer Vayikrah of the Sefer Haftarah is available for sponsorship.


Did you know that the FJMC offers individual Haftarah parshiyot suitable for framing? Click here for the PDF


Use this link when shopping at
Amazon.com
All purchases via our Amazon links provide critical support to the FJMC, at no additional cost to you!

For upcoming FJMC events
Visit the FJMC website


mentschen
Mentschen.
The online magazine for Jewish men.
Read it here!

Editorial Board
Rabbi Wayne Allen
Rabbi Leonard S. Berkowitz
Rabbi Paul Drazen
Dr Rela Mintz Geffen
Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi
Rabbi Stephan Parnes

Newsletter Chairmen
David Goldis
Randall Smith


Interested in more weekly newsletters and commentaries? We have compiled a list of other Conservative/Masorti sources. All are free, all are worth reading! Click here
Comments?
Tell us what you think about this weekly letter.

Looking for an Unraveller?
All previous issues are available online!
http://www.fjmc-consultants.org/listing.html
.

Reading someone else's copy? Sign up here for free home delivery!

Don't want to receive the Unraveller any longer? Click here to unsubscribe. Be sure to use the e-mail address where you receive the Unraveller when you reply.




fjmc

Sponsors needed!
NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

There will be another issue of the Unraveller next week. Help keep The Unraveller going with your sponsorship!

April 9, 2011 / 5 Nisan, 5771
Unravelling the Mishnah of Tractate Pesahim
Week 2:
We continue the discussion of the last tractate in the volume of the Talmud called Pesachim which describes how one prepares for the Passover Seder.

Pesahim, Chapter 10, Mishnah 2

They pour for him the first cup. Bet Shammai say that he must first make the blessing over the day and then over the wine; Bet Hillel say that he must first make the blessing over the wine and then over the day.

Explanation:
After the lighting of candles, one makes Kiddush. The Mishnah instructs us to pour the first cup of wine. No one asks in the Mishnah why we pour the first of four cups of wine but proceeds as if everyone žknewÓ that this is the first cup of four. The Mishnah questions the order of the blessings recited over the first cup: Should we recite the blessing over the wine first - borei pri hagafen - or the longer berakhah - Kiddush - which recognizes that the Festival of Passover has begun. The law follows the School of Hillel which is our pattern today.

Comment:
Truly our first question for the Seder should be: why are there four cups of wine and not two, three or more than four?

Many explanations about the four cups are suggested:

(1) They represent four monarchies that will precede the final redemption (Dan. 7);
(2) They represent the four figurative cups of punishment which the empire of godlessness is to drink before the final conflict and the four cups of comfort which are provided for Israel;
(3) They reflect the verbs in the Torah referring to the promises made to Israel by God. This explanation is somewhat problematic because Exodus 6:6 has only three promises: žI will bring you out;Ó žI will deliver you;Ó ž I will redeem you.Ó In order for the rabbis to provide the fourth promise, they needed to pull it out of Ex. 6:7 for žI will take you.Ó This also caused some difficulty because it omitted a fifth promise found in in verse 7, žI will bring you.Ó Our Sages clearly wished to sustain the number four but recognized a potential fifth cup would be a challenge. Their answer was simple leave it for Elijah to resolve when the messianic age finally arrives. That's why we fill the fifth cup but don't drink it - yet.
(4) Rabbi Simcha Roth suggests that four was used since it was more than the customary two glasses of wine for Shabbat (one for Kiddush and one for Birkat Hamazone). He suggests that this reflects an ancient tradition of drinking žmany cupsÓ of wine, which might also explain the fifth textual promise below and the fifth cup which we now call the cup for Elijah.

The Seder ritual as discussed in the Mishnah and the Gemarra constantly notes how the ritual symbols are covered/uncovered/lifted/brought in/ removed as well as the physical set-up for the Seder, the reclining, giving rewards and presents to the children and even žgrabbingÓ matzah from one another. These discussions were designed to be opportunities to question so that the žanswersÓ remind us of the Exodus and of the importance of freedom.

It seems that one of the definitions of freedom is the opportunity to ask questions and to expect responsible, informed answers. We pride ourselves on judging the quality of our education to include the depth of the knowledge underlying a question rather than the facile answer or response. Mah nishtanah. . . Any questions?

This week's Mishnah lesson was written by
Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner.
He created and is the editor/author/administrator of www.jewishfreeware.org. See especially for 5771 Pesah new and updated FREE Family-Friendly Haggadot: Hebrew/Translation/Transliteration ; World's Largest Seder Songbook; and Passover Activities. Millions are being distributed annually FREE with encouragement for sharing and unlimited copying for individuals, families, synagogues, religious schools, day schools, nursing homes, assisted living residents, community sedarim, military chaplains, prisons to more than 78 countries. Rabbi Lerner is also President, Foundation For Family Education, Inc. 501c3, an educational project for hands-on Jewish learning that builds Jewish memories.

The opinions expressed in this Unraveller are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the FJMC.


FJMC Yom HaShoah Yellow Candles
For those who do not know the original concept, the Yellow Candle is just another Holocaust observance among the many that exist. But the FJMC Yellow CandlesŰ Yellow Candlesare different. They relate directly to Jewish religious life and to memory. We are commanded to remember. This program cannot be dismissed as an afterthought. Every home should be given the opportunity to žLight a Candle and Preserve a MemoryÓ. We remember, so that our children and future generations will know and understand their past, so that each will declare žHineni, here am I, a survivorÓ.
FJMC Yom HaShoah Yellow Candles

Yellow Candles Order Hotline:
TEL (800) 391-7293 (after 9AM MST) Ô FAX (602) 368-6357

Yellow Candles Mailing Address:
FJMC Yellow Candles, P.O. Box 12582, Scottsdale, AZ 85267

Call TODAY! We will accept Unraveller reader orders until April 9, 2011


unraveller
This special mailing from the FJMC is beeing sent to you and the other subscribers of the FJMC's Unraveller as a special promotion. To unsubscribe, simply send an e-mail from the address you wish to unsubscribe, to this address: end-Unraveller@fjmc-consultants.org?subject=Unsubcribe

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! Unsubscribe here
http://twitter.com/unravellerfjmc This e-mail letter is hosted and distributed by INTERACTIVEPAGES, Toronto