2nd Shabbat Pesach (Achron Shel Pesach) – A thought for the week by Michael Lewis

Updated: Apr 29

This week on the eighth day of Pesach, the 8th day of counting the Omer, is the second Shabbat which we celebrate this Pesach. The readings this week, just as the readings on the 2nd day, set out cycle of festivals, their observances, and the offerings on these occasions which were to be brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. The Haftorah prophesies eventual redemption and we recite Yiskor. We remember those no longer with us.

I suspect that most of us will also be counting the hours until the end of Pesach and the pleasures of Chametz to come but consider spending some time counting past Sedarim.

As we put Pesach items away for another year count those faces that were with us this year and those who either could not be or were unable to be at our tables. These last two years isolated so many of us but hopefully we can all be together again in the coming year. However, there will also be faces that are no longer with us but whose memory remains. On Thursday 28th April it will be Yom HaShoah and time to light the yellow candles which we are distributing. Those whose names are commemorated should also be counted. Take time to research the names. One of the families included Ikhiel Katzenelenboigen aged 3. He lived with his sisters, Fania, aged 5, Frima aged 1, and his brother Pinchas aged 4 together with his parents Motel and Khaika. They lived in Proskurov, Ukraine. The parents were about 40 years old and had lived through the Pogrom in the town on 15 February 1919. (The town was renamed Khmelnitsky in 1954 in memory of the Cossack who led the pogrom). They were all killed in 1941.

During the Seder we are asked to remember

בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר
In each and every generation

We have had the privilege of celebrating Pesach this year and can now look forward to the festivals ahead. May we all be together, safe and healthy and

לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בִּירוּשָלָיִם הַבְּנוּיָה
Next year, let us be in the built Jerusalem!
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