Eruv Tavshilin and current events

Dear CBI,

We are about to go from mourning to dancing. We ask the Holy One to assist us in this transition. We pray for peace worldwide and a recognition of the humanity within us all.

In recent days, we have seen holy sites of different faiths burn. In Moscow, a yeshiva was intentionally burned on Erev Pesach. Notre Dame's burning was accidental. African-American churches in Louisiana were intentionally burned. Palestinian children lit a small fire in Solomon's stables just outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Christians were murdered during their Easter Worship in Sri Lanka. Intentional and unintentional acts create a climate of fear.

Hatred and strife seem to be in the air. This is not the world I want to live in. I dream of a world of universal peace. The Torah I teach is one of lovingkindness. Daily we speak of our love for G-d and G-d’s love for us. Daily we remember that we are created in the Image of G-d.

Over Pesach we change our diets, removing chametz so we may deflate our own egos, and so we can remember we were slaves in Egypt. We do not celebrate the plagues that helped set us free. Instead, we are reminded over and over again in our Torah that we were strangers in Egypt and that before they oppressed us, they welcomed us as guests. We are reminded to treat others with kindness and respect and never to oppress the stranger. We are to remember we know the heart of the foreigner because we have been there.

I look forward to seeing you for the final Pesach services tonight, tomorrow morning, tomorrow evening and Shabbat morning. As we sing together, we will celebrate the joy of the Holiday and pray for a more peaceful world.

Finally, before dinner tonight, we put aside a piece of matzah and a hard-boiled egg (or other cooked dish) for Shabbat to create our “Eruv Tavshilin." According to Halachah, with the appropriate blessing this allows us prepare food for Shabbat on Friday (Yom Tov).

The following Blessing is said in Hebrew (and English also if you choose): Baruch Atta Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kidshanu B’Mitz’votav V’tzivanu Al Mitzvat Eruv.

Blessed are you, Adonai our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who made us holy through Mitzvot and commanded us to observe the Mitzvah of Eruv.

The following declaration may be said in any language one understands (the Aramaic and Hebrew are in our Shabbat Siddur Sim Shalom on page 306): “By means of this mixture we are permitted to bake, cook, warm, kindle lights (from a pilot or flame lit before the Holiday), and make all the necessary preparation during the Festival for Shabbat, we and all who live in this place.”

Chag Sameach,

Rabbi Philip Weintraub