ב"ה
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Thursday, 10 Nissan, 5784

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Miriam, the sister of Moses, passed away at the age of 126 on the 10th of Nissan of the year 2487 from creation (1274 BCE) -- 39 years after the Exodus and exactly one year before the Children of Israel entered the Holy Land. It is in deference to her passing that the "Great Shabbat" is commemorated on the Shabbat before Passover rather than the calendar date of the miracle's occurence, Nissan 10.

Link: About Miriam.

Three days after the two spies dispatched by Joshua scouted the city of Jericho (see entry for "Nissan 7" above), the children of Israel were ready to enter the land promised by G-d to their ancestors as their eternal heritage. As they approached the Jordan with the Holy Ark carried by the Kohanim (priests) in their lead, the river parted for them, as the waters of the Red Sea had split when their fathers and mothers marched out of Egypt 40 years earlier. (Joshua 4)

Laws and Customs

In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi of the tribe of Dan, Achiezer ben Amishadai, for the inauguration of the Mishkan.

Text of today's Nasi in Hebrew and English.

Daily Thought

Any other time of the year, it’s just a cracker. Eat it on the night of Passover, and it nourishes your soul.

Because, in truth, all food feeds not only the body, but the soul as well.

That’s because, like everything else, food is a divine creation. It is sustained by a constant flow of energy from its Maker. When we consume food, we metabolize that divine energy and live from it.

The kind of food-energy we consume and the way we consume it has a lot to do with kind of person we become and the kind of life we end up living.

If we eat foods sustained by energy hopelessly distorted, corrupted, and disconnected from its origin, they pull us down with them and it becomes harder for us to keep in touch with our own soul. These are the foods that are not kosher.

But then, even the energy of kosher food needs to be reconnected to its origin. And we do that by investing whatever energy we’ve gained from this food into G‑dly deeds--a.k.a. mitzvahs.

Matzah on Passover is the exception. On the night of Passover, it’s not just a mitzvah to eat matzah; the matzah itself is a mitzvah. It’s already intimately connected with its source.

So that, rather than us having to reconnect this food, it reconnects us, nourishing both body and soul with divine light, carrying us to heights we could otherwise never achieve.

And so, writes Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, matzah on Passover--especially on the first night--not only nourishes your divine soul, it softens up the animal instinct within you. Your inner beast becomes open to knowing something greater than itself.

At the very least, he writes, it allows your divine soul some respite.

As it turns out, matzah on Passover is not just food for the soul, it’s potent medicine for the human animal.

Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, “the Maharash,” Hemshech 5637, chapter 60, cited frequently by the Rebbe.