Thursday, March 20, 2008

Proper Purim Dress / Preparing for Pesach


First, one last Purim email:

It is appropriate to wear Shabbat-type clothing on Purim, both at night and during the day, out of respect for the miracle and to heighten the celebration of the day.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 695:2, and Mishnah Berurah ibid.)

And one to start Pesach [Passover]:

Thirty days before Pesach, we begin to learn the laws of Pesach.

The Shabbat preceding Pesach is called 'Shabbat haGadol,' 'the great Shabbat,' for a variety of reasons. One reason is that four days before leaving Egypt, on a Shabbat, the Jews took lambs, one of Egypt's gods, and designated the lambs for slaughter as an offering to Gd. The fact that the Egyptians didn't attack the Jews then and there was a great miracle. As such, we use the Shabbat before Pesach to commemorate that miracle.

There is an important practice associated with this day: On that Shabbat afternoon families read through the 'Magid' portion of the Haggadah - the part which tells about our evolution as a nation and our ultimate departure from Egypt.

This practice commemorates the day's miracle, and it also helps us prepare for Pesach, so that we don't walk into the Seder blind but instead have a chance to review the material beforehand.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 430:1; Mishneh Berurah 430:1-2)

Have a great day,

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