Shabbat Tzav/HaGadol 5783
How long does your Seder last? It probably doesn’t run quite as long as the Seder of the FIve Sages, about whom we read in the Haggadah:
“An incident happened with Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshu’a, Rabbi El’azar ben ‘Azaryah, Rabbi ‘Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon. They were reclining at the table in Bnei Brak, and they were recounting the story of the Exodus from Egpyt all that night, until their students came in and told them, ‘Our rabbis! The timing for reciting the morning Shema has arrived!'”
What is this passage doing in the Haggadah, other than to warn us against going all night without doing the dishes? Good question, right? In fact, we should ask questions about the inclusion of each and every passage in the Haggadah–what’s it doing here?–instead of just reading it as if it’s always meant to be part of the Haggadah.
That’s exactly what Rabbi Allen Schwartz did in The 4 Sons Haggadah, which was published in 2021. Not only does he ask questions about each section of the storytelling unit, Maggid; he also seeks to answer those questions as if speaking to the four prototypical children the Haggadah identifies.
On Shabbat morning during services, I will teach his approach to the Five Rabbis episode. Those who come to services will receive copies of the text. For those joining us virtually, you can access the text by clicking this link. Don’t forget to print it out before Shabbat!
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise
Candle lighting: 7:00 PM
Torah Reading: Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Haftarah: Malachi 3:4-24