An Early Message from Rabbi Ain: Happy Passover and Shabbat Shalom!

Good afternoon! You are receiving this email today since tomorrow I imagine many will be heading out to spend Passover in different places. Please note that services tomorrow night are at 6:15 and Saturday and Sunday morning at 9:15 am. On Saturday morning, in lieu of a sermon, we will discuss questions that came up at your seder-so be prepared to participate!

PASSOVER IS COMING FAST! CLICK HERE for resources about how to celebrate Passover at home and with your SPS community.

Tune your dvrs! Tomorrow morning, Friday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and I will be on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Show. We will be discussing Passover and Easter, themes that emerge during the holidays at this point in the year, and what people of faith are confronting during these hectic times in our lives.

Passover is a holiday that resonates in so many different ways.
Given the propensity of “Fours” in the seder (the four questions, the four children, the four cups) here are four thoughts that you can think about as you celebrate.
1. Passover is a time where we celebrate our place in the Jewish community. It is by celebrating the Passover holiday that we place ourselves back into the story of becoming a people. This realization allows us to recommit ourselves to our connections with the Jewish people and our history. One way to do that is to commemorate and celebrate modern Jewish holidays this April. On April 11please come to SPS for the annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration. On April 13 and April 25 we have two opportunities to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut. April 13 will feature a musical Kabalat Shabbat with Israeli themed music. April 25we welcome Benji Lovitt who will do a presentation on Israeli history through Israeli film.
2. Passover is a time where we think about what it means to go from slavery to freedom. Each of us are enslaved in our own ways-how do we look ahead to break ourselves out of those moments where we feel stuck? What kind of spiritual and emotional awakening must we have to clear our minds and enter into the right space to seek our freedom. Join us at weekday minyan or shabbat services to feel how the power of prayer can help us forge a path ahead.
3. Passover is a time where we acknowledge that there are many in the world that aren’t free. How we look at issues of immigration, refugees, human sex trafficking, racism and bigotry must be understood through the lens of our own experiences. The Torah teaches us that we were once strangers and therefore we must find ways to welcome the stranger. Tomorrow in synagogue I will be sharing a story that will touch all of our hearts and will force us to ask the question-what should we be doing to make this world better?
4. Passover is a time where we can look forward to a world redeemed. By welcoming in Elijah and by announcing “next year in Jerusalem” we are committing ourselves to living in a world that can always be better than it is today. We can find ways of finding redemption in our midst and we can find ways of connecting to the land of and state of Israel. There is still room on the SPS December Trip to Israel. Feel free to be in touch with any questions!
Looking ahead: 

Women’s League Shabbat will be here before we know it (April 28). Sara Angrist and Erica Levine have been hard at work preparing. “You Shall Be Holy” is the opening line of Parashat Kedoshim, which we will be reading during Women’s League Shabbat.  As such, Women’s League will be exploring the concepts of holiness, soulfulness, spiritual potential, and choice and chosen-ness.  We want to include SPS’s views, thoughts, and feelings on contemporary spirituality in the discussion.

Please help us by completing the enclosed survey by April 18 .  In order to ensure confidentiality, sign-in to google forms is not required, and email addresses are not being collected.  Please do not submit multiple responses.

CHALLAH BAKE! Join your SPS Community to make challah as a community! Make friends, have fun, and enjoy an evening out. It is only $10 and a bottle of a wine to use as a rolling pin….and to drink from! Please RSVP to sps@spsnyc.org or call 212-593-3300 by April 25.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ain