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11. Shulchan Orech - Set the Table

11. Shulchan Orech - Set the Table

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Body
The festive holiday meal is now eaten (You know how to do this, right?)

It's been a long haul; on a regular Shabbat and Yom Tov, we'd have eaten hours ago. But well worth the wait. So far everything we've eaten had a ritual significance; now we eat to fulfill the mitzvah of enjoying the festival.

It's customary to begin the meal with the hard-boiled egg that was on your Seder Plate (commemorating the festival offering), dipped in salt water.

A boiled egg is a sign of mourning. On every festive occasion, we remember to mourn for the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem.

Soul

This step, along with Korech before it, marks the re-entry we mentioned at the beginning. We’ve escaped Egypt and reached a higher vision. And then we start the process again -- on a higher level.

Because freedom consists of more than escape. Complete freedom is when you can turn around and liberate all the elements of your world from their pure material state, and make them transcendent as well.

That’s what we do when we eat every day—we take foods which grow from the earth, say a blessing over them and bring them into our journey as human beings. And when it’s Shabbos or another Jewish holiday, we elevate them further, into the realm of pure spirituality. As for tonight, this meal is going to be truly Divine.

So don’t imagine we’re just fressing now. We’re reaching a higher state. And what a great way to do it!

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