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Times: Friday 15th April is the Fast of the Firstborn. Latest time for eating chametz is at 10:28 am; burn chametz before 11:23 am. Pesach starts that evening; light candles at 5:36 pm (first seder)On Saturday 16th, light candles for the second day after 6:32 pm from a pre-existing flame (second seder). Start counting Sefirat ha’Omer. Yom Tov ends on Sunday night 17th at 6:31 pm.

For the second days of Pesach, on Thursday 21st April, light candles at 5:28 pm. On Friday 22nd, light candles after 5:26 pm from a pre-existing flame. Pesach ends on Saturday 23rd at 6:23 pm.

Mincha in the CBD: Mincha continues at Warlow’s Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins St. Join the WhatsApp group to stay across the latest details.

Study: The Weekly Shiur is in recess during Chol haMo’ed and will resume on Wednesday 27th at about 1.15pm at Warlow’s Legal – 2/430 Lt Collins St. – and via Zoom. Current topic: worker eating rights. Details here and on the WhatsApp group.

Thought of the Week with thanks to Gaby Silver. For most of us, the highlight of the Pesach Seder will be when the youngest participants take centre stage and recite the timeless Four Questions. The innocent simplicity of the Mah Nishtanah belies its pivotal significance. The quartet of seemingly innocuous queries segues into the festival’s powerful foundational statement: “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord our God brought us out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.”

Behind this familiar verse lies a poignant idea: For the Jewish people to be redeemed, we first needed to be enslaved in Egypt – the paragon of iniquity and vice. Think about that for a moment. The Exodus is arguably the defining juncture of Jewish history and the catalyst for a chain of events that culminated in our achievement of true nationhood with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai seven weeks later.

Yet, none of that would have been achievable without first experiencing the tribulations and temptations of the Egyptian exile.

Each of us faces trials that enslave us. Perhaps it’s external, such as financial pressures, difficult people at work or relationship troubles. Alternatively, it may be internal – lack of motivation, drive towards unhealthy behaviours or simply an inability to tear oneself away from the phone or computer when the kids are begging for attention.

God places these challenges in our path precisely so that we turn to Him. Ultimately, Judaism holds the key to salvation from any challenge. Through strengthening our commitment and bond to God and His Torah and placing ourselves in His Mighty Hand, we are assured deliverance from whatever form of slavery afflicts us.

Wishing you a Kosher & Freilichen Pesach.

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