I would like to thank our staff and administration once again for all the hard work they have put in over the last few weeks to enhance learning for our children. While we hope school will restart soon, we are still planning to further enhance the learning experience for our students after Pesach. In reading the Hamodia this week I saw our school prominently featured in the newspaper. Reading these periodicals, it is easy to see the mesirus nefesh of Jewish mothers who are trying to manage their families and to avoid boredom during these trying times while at the same time cleaning and planning for Pesach. Even with all the challenges, there was a very positive tone when the newspaper described how well our children are learning and the level of parent and student satisfaction as we all work together toward a common goal.
I hear a shiur from my son Reb Yosef Scheinerman about this very topic of “coping in challenging times.”
Rabbi Schlesinger of Monsey, NY, quotes the Gemoro in Pesochim 116a, which discusses charoses. Like the Tanna Kama, the reason for charoses is because moror contains a poison called kapa, which is very dangerous, and the sweetness of charoses can take away the sharpness and thus the danger.
There is a posuk in Mishpotim 24:10 that states: vesachas raglov kemaaseh livnas hasapir. Rashi comments: hi hoyso lefonov bish’as hashibud lizkor tzoroson shel Yisroel shehoyu meshubodim bemaaseh levenim. Hashem was suffering with us and he placed a sapphire brick underneath His leg. The brick represented Hashem partnering with us in in the tzaar, pain, of Klal Yisroel. Why was it made from sapphire? The charoses is coming to show that even when Hashem gives Klal Yisroel physical and emotional suffering, at the same time Hashem has an ahavoh, a deep and profound love for us and closeness to us, and everything that is happening is all for the good. Right now, we may not understand the meaning of all that is transpiring but in the end we will shine. The shibud of Mitzrayim showed Hashem’s strength and it made us into the Am Hanivchor. Even though now we feel tzaar, it is all love and rachmonus from Hashem.
Moror b’gematria, numerical value, is moves, death. When there is suffering, there is a poison in moror called kapa. The biggest suffering and poison are when a person becomes depressed, sad, and worried, and may, G-d forbid, say, “Hashem forgot,” displaying a lack of emunah, faith. We dip the moror in the sweet charoses and it takes away the poison, because although charoses represents the harsh qualities of a brick, it also has sweetness in it. Even when it’s bitter, Hashem is still with us. Hashem is close to us and the charoses removes the poison of the moror, so we won’t get depressed. The sapphire brick under Hashem’s leg represents the suffering, but it’s made from sapphire because there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
As we begin the week before Pesach, we enter with an uplifted spirit, in the knowledge that just as the Exodus from Mitzrayim took place in Nissan, we too will be redeemed in Nissan. We ask this year for Hashem to remove the sickness of the coronavirus and pray for the final redemption of Moshiach speedily in our day.
Best wishes to the entire community for a chag kosher vesomei’ach, a happy and healthy Yom Tov of Pesach.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman