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Visit Our Website April 2014/Nissan 5774 VOL. 17 NO. 4

Let My People Know

Published and mailed 5 times a year to 3,500 homes in Palm Springs


Bikur Cholim of Palm Springs A Project of Chabad of Palm Springs P.O. Box 2934 Palm Springs, CA 92263 Rabbi Yankel A. Kreiman

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'Happy & Healthy Passover'

This Passover Issue is Sponsored by

Dr. Ozer and Yaffa Platt & Family

In Loving Memory of Simi Vaknin O.B.M. & Best Wishes to the Entire Community and Klal Yisroel for a Very Happy, Healthy and Kosher Passover

The Story of Divine Providence

By Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, The Lubavitcher Rebbe The festival of Passover say, that the lesson of Passover has always a calls for early and elaborate timely message for the individual Jew. The preparations to make the story of Passover is the story of the special Jewish home fitting for the Divine Providence which alone determines great festival. It is not physical the fate of our people. What is happening in preparedness alone that the outside world need not affect us; we might is required of us, but also be singled out for suffering, G‑d forbid, amid spiritual preparedness—for in general prosperity, and likewise singled out for the life of the Jew the physical safety amid a general plague or catastrophe. and spiritual are closely linked together, The story of our enslavement and liberation of especially in the celebration of our Sabbath which Passover tells us, give ample illustration and festivals. of this. For the fate of our people is determined On Passover we celebrate the liberation by its adherence to G‑d and His Prophets. of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery This lesson is emphasized by the three and, together with it, the liberation from, and principal symbols of the Seder, concerning negation of the ancient Egyptian system and which our Sages said that unless the Jew way of life, the "abominations of Egypt." Thus explains their significance he has not observed we celebrate our physical liberation together the Seder fittingly: Pesach [the Paschal Offering], with our spiritual freedom. Indeed, there cannot Matzoh and Moror [bitter herbs]. Using these be one without the other; there can be no real symbols in their chronological order and in freedom without accepting the precepts of our accordance with the Haggadah explanation, Torah guiding our daily life; pure and holy life we may say: the Jews avoid Moror (bitterness eventually leads to real freedom. of life) only through Pesach (G‑d's special care It is said: "In every generation each Jew 'passing over' and saving the Jewish homes should see himself as though he personally even in the midst of the greatest plague), and had been liberated from Egypt." This is to Matzoh—then the very catastrophe and the

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enemies of the Jews will work for the benefit of the Jews, driving them in great haste out of "Mitzraim" [Egypt], the place of perversion and darkness, and placing them under the beam of light and holiness. One other important thing we must remember. The celebration of the festival of freedom must be connected with the commandment "You shall relate it to your son." The formation and existence of the Jewish home, as of the Jewish people as a whole, is dependent upon the upbringing of the young generation, both boys and girls: the wise and the wicked (temporarily), the simple and the one who knows not what to ask. Just as we cannot shirk our responsibility towards our child by the excuse that "my child is a wise one; he will find his own way in life therefore no education is necessary for him"; so we must not despair by thinking "the child is a wicked one; no education will help him." For, all Jewish children, boys and girls, are "G‑d's children" and it is our sacred duty to see to it that they all live up to their above mentioned title; and this we can achieve only through a kosher Jewish education, in full adherence to G‑d's Torah. Then we all will merit the realization of our ardent hopes: "In the next year may we be free; in the next year may we be in Jerusalem!"

Sheina Gilbert, Boaz McNabb, Peninah & Ber Baumgarten (including Menucha Rochel, Reuven Daniel, Yisroel Gavriel Noach & Shimon) Nissa Brocha & Avraham Shlomo HaKohen Yarmush (including Reuven Gavriel, Dovid Aryeh & Yisorel Isser Hacohanim) Chaya-Morasha Gilbert & Dan Berkowitz, Hershel-Elyahu & Noa-Miriam Gilbert-McNabb & and our dogs Zoe & Baby.

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‘A Message From the Rabbi’ Dear Friends, Passover is the Holiday of our Redemption from Egypt. We all became a Nation wandering into a strange & unfamiliar Desert. We took with us those special 'Matzos', the 'Bread of Faith'. We had a tremendous Faith in HaShem (G-D) & his loyal Servant Moshe. We went through lots of exiles & Then HaShem redeemed us. Now we are in this Final Golus (exile), We would like to ask HaShem, "AD MOSAI ???, until when do we have to endure this Golus. Genook Shoin!!! Enough is enough !! May we all celebrate this Passover '5774' in Israel together with Melech HaMoshiach-NOW!!!

Happy Passover to You and Your Family!

Please enjoy this Passover Issue. There are very interesting Stories, great recipes, Candle Lighting times & a Special Passover Guide. Best wishes to all for a very Happy, Healthy & Kosher Passover.

Rabbi Yankel & Rochel Kreiman

�a��y �assover

Harriet Lindsay

Dr. Amy Austin

Maurice Goldstein

Sara Lee Austin

Judy Gornbein

Judge Jacqueline Drucker

Joan & Harold Kramer

Celia & Sandy Norian

Isaac & Selma Friedman

Lenore Leon

Howard Schreiman

Art & Joan Markovits Arlene Morse

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My Plastic Pharaoh By Tzvi Freeman

So here I am, scrubbing out the crumbs from my ergonomic keyboard, faxing in my Deed of Chametz Sale and downloading a new Haggadah. In other words, its almost Passover already. I'll soon be sitting at the Seder table with family and friends and the same question as with every one of these holidays is going to come up: What are we celebrating? What are we all here for? My kids tell me that's no question: We're here to celebrate our freedom. That's what the holiday is called, "The Festival of Our Freedom." We were slaves in Egypt, now we are free. So let's get to the meal and celebrate. I'm glad they feel so free. As for me, I'm still a slave and Pharaoh, king of Egypt, never died. I labor for him all week long. He tricked me into it: First, he let me have all these nice things I really wanted for nothing. Later he started demanding money for them. When, one time, I didn't pay all the money, he demanded even more money. So I have to keep working real hard to give him all the money he demands. I carry a picture of Pharaoh in his present incarnation in my wallet. It has his very intimidating new name engraved on it. He's called "Master Card." But my kids don't go for that. They say that in the Haggadah it says Pharaoh let us go free. Well, I know the Haggadah a little better than them. The fact is, the Haggadah, like every other piece of Torah, is full of puzzles and seeming contradictions, there just so you'll ask questions. If you read any piece of Torah, especially the Haggadah, and you don't have any questions, you obviously aren't reading right. (That's why the "Son Who Doesn't Know How to Ask Questions" gets put at the very end of the table. Not the Wicked Son. Not the Simple Son. The "Unquestioning Son." Not just because unquestioning is very unJewish, but also because it means youre plain not paying attention to what's going on.) To get to the point: We just finished making Kiddush, in which we call this "The Festival of Our Freedom." What do we say next? "This is the Poor Man's Bread...Now we are slaves, next year we will be free men." Now is that a contradiction or is that a contradiction? Are we free or are we slaves? So my kids tell me that we're celebrating that once we were slaves and then we got free and so we're celebrating. The fact that we all got into a mess and became slaves again, well, too bad. We can still commemorate the past. As long as the dinner is good. Let me tell you something: I'm not into 4 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • APRIL 2014/ NISSAN 5774

commemorating the past. If I'm going through all this trouble in the year 5760, 3,312 years later to clean my house for Passover and make a big Seder, it's got to have more significance than commemorating something that cancelled itself out with history anyway. The problem of being a slave with all these contradictions, coupled with the stress of cleaning for Passover, really bothered me. So I went to see a psychotherapist. The psychotherapist listened, took notes and then told me that MasterCard is not Pharaoh. I am Pharaoh. More specifically, my unreasonable demands upon myself is the Pharaoh. I told him my only real demand upon myself is that I should not be a slave. He said I shouldn't use that word, "should." The word "should" means I'm making an unreasonable demand upon myself. That causes stress. Stress, in his Haggadah, is slavery. Apparently, the Hebrews in Egypt were really stressed out. Building pyramids was nothing. It's the stress that did them in. "So," I asked, "What should I do? I don't want to be a slave." He told me I shouldn't do anything. Wanting is ok. I can want to not be a slave. Shoulding is bad. It's unreasonable to should. Now I was really confused. I had always understood that "I should" was my liberator and "I want" was the one that got me in all this trouble to begin with. But the hour was up and there I was in the office showing my picture of Pharaoh to the psychotherapist's secretary. "In summary," I thought, "I shouldn't say should." I needed to make another appointment with the shrink to ask whether I should or should not say that I shouldn't say should. But, at these professional rates, I didn't think my little Pharaoh would let me. At any rate, I decided, I don't need a shrink to achieve liberation. After all, liberation is a form of enlightenment. When is the last time you met a spiritually enlightened psychotherapist? What I needed was a guru. An elevated, transcendent soul who is essentially liberated and could pull me out of all this muck and mire. So I sat down and keyboarded out a letter, explaining everything, to the Guadalajara Rebbe. Then I fired it off to enlightenment@guadalajara. guru. I stayed online awaiting my reply. In the meantime, I electronically paid the bills I was incurring by staying online so long in order to get a swift reply. My little Pharaoh came in useful again. Then it came. Verbatim, as follows: "We are all prisoners. The act of existence is our

crime. The universe is our prison. Our bodies and our personage is our cell. The keys to liberation are held tight in the fists of our own egos." Then a little note: "see Tanya, chapter 47. Also read Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman." I meditated, I sipped licorice tea, I meditated some more, and I got it. MasterCard is not Pharaoh. "I want" is not Pharaoh. Neither is "I should". It's not the want or the should, it's the "I." I looked in Tanya, the classic Chassidic work by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, chapter 47. There he says that when G-d gave us the Torah, He gave us Infinitude. We connect to Him with the Torah and we are free because we are then infinite and unbounded as He is. And he writes, "...and so there is nothing stopping anybody except for his own will, for if a person does not want..." Again, the same idea. We are all free. But our egos clutch tightly the keys. How do I get my ego to let go of the keys? For philosophy you can go to an enlightened tzaddik somewhere in Mexico. For practical, realtime liberation, I need The Rebbe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe. This is the practical advice of the Rebbe, in a talk one Passover: "Make a part of your life an act that takes you beyond your bounds, helping people that are not part of your family or circle of friends, doing something that does not fit within your own selfdefinition. Invite someone to your seder who you're not so comfortable with. At first, it may not feel so good. But you have set yourself free." So, again this year, I come to my seder. I leave my own little world of my own puny self and I walk through the door into something infinite, timeless and eternal, because it is bound with an infinite, timeless and eternal G-d. I am no longer part of me. I am part of us and part of His Torah and therefore part of Him. And to prove it, I say, "Let all those who are needy come and join our seder. No matter who." I have broken free. This year, we should all break free. Not just at the seder, but for every moment of our lives. Forever. This year in Jerusalem.

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The Kabbalah of the Seder Plate

Stories are important, especially stories about the Jewish past. They help us reach out over the centuries and, in a sense, take part in the experiences of our ancestors. They also generate an awareness of our heritage and enable us to draw inspiration to face our own situations as Jews.

But how many ways are there to tell a story? The obvious way is to tell it in words, and in this the story told at the Seder meal is no exception. Indeed, the whole purpose of the Seder is to tell the story of our ancestors' slavery and release form Egypt. The very word Haggadah means "a telling". Yet there is another, non-verbal, method of telling the same story. The items of food on the Seder table tell their story too, for they are not only things to be eaten. Each one is a symbol calling to mind certain core ideas. As we refer to these symbols in our Haggadah and eat them at certain key points during the narrative, they reinforce for us, each in its own unique way, the central concepts of the Passover message. The core ideas of Passover are slavery and freedom. People often say that Passover is the time for celebrating freedom; this is not entirely accurate. On Passover we are actually celebrating the transition from slavery to freedom. This is eloquently expressed in the items of food on the table since they have associations with both slavery and freedom. Wine The Seder begins with Kiddush recited over wine. It is usually red wine, since that is the color of blood (only during the Middle Ages, when Jews were accused of using the blood of murdered Christians in the Seder, did they use white wine). Blood has obvious associations with slavery; our ancestors were beaten and they bled. But there is also the blood of freedom. On the night preceding the Exodus, our ancestors were commanded to kill a sheep or goat and to smear its blood upon the door posts of their houses. This was to be a sign that the plague of the death of all the first-born sons of the Egyptians would not affect any of the Israelite homes. Shortly after that, our ancestors left Egypt. Salt-water The second item taken at the Seder is Carpas (usually onion, parsley or potato) dipped in salt-water. Salt-water calls to mind the tears of the slaves and so has associations with slavery.

When our ancestors stepped over the border into the desert they were not yet entirely free. There was always the possibility of the Egyptians chasing after them and hauling them back into slavery, which is exactly what they attempted to do. Only after our ancestors crossed the Sea of Reeds, and the Egyptian army was drowned, were they entirely free. It was, therefore, the sea, symbolized by the salt-water, which was instrumental in finally freeing the Jews from Egyptian slavery.

Matzah After eating Karpas we break the middle matzah. Matzah is the food which our ancestors ate during their long slavery in Egypt. We even say at the beginning of the Hagadah, "This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt...". Visitors to the British Museum can see loaves of Egyptian bread preserved in the tomb of some king or noble, and it looks surprisingly like the round, handbaked, Shemurah matzah which many people use at the Seder. The bread in the museum is rather thick, since it was the food of the wealthy; the round matzah, being thin and much less substantial, is the bread which was given to slaves. It took very little time to bake and very little time to eat, and so allowed the task-masters to get the maximum working time from the slaves. But our ancestors not only ate matzah while they were slaves. After the slaying of the first-born Egyptian sons, the Egyptians were so anxious to drive the Jews out of Egypt that they did not have time to bake proper bread. Ironically, on the way out of Egypt into freedom, they found themselves eating the same matzah bread that they had eaten during the years of slavery. This time, however, it was the bread of freedom. Bitter Herbs The ideal substance to use for bitter herbs is lettuce. This might surprise some people, but there is a reason for it; it is in the lettuce that we find expressed a very important relationship between slavery and freedom. The leaves of a lettuce are, of course, not bitter at all. In a young fresh lettuce they are crisp and sweet. Nonetheless, the lettuce grows from a green-white stalk which is very bitter indeed. Clearly, the crisp, sweet leaves represent freedom and the bitter stalk represents slavery. But here a new insight is communicated. Freedom can only really be appreciated when it is rooted in slavery. We who are born free often take our freedom for granted; we do not wake up each morning and say to ourselves, "I am free! How wonderful!" Yet someone who has been in

In Loving Memory of:

Simi Vaknin O.B.M.

Remembered by her Family & friends. 6 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • APRIL 2014/ NISSAN 5774

prison would do exactly this. So it was when our ancestors left Egypt, hence the use of lettuce. Charoset When Charoset is made properly it has the appearance and texture of river mud. It was from this mud that our ancestors made bricks. Again, visitors to the British Museum can see a mud brick (with the straw still em-bedded in it) stamped with the royal seal of Rameses II, the Pharaoh of the slavery. The appearance of the Charoset clearly calls to mind the harsh servitude to which our ancestors were subjected. But when we put Charoset in our mouths, we experience something quite different. It has a sweet taste, a taste such as no slave ever experienced. Its sweetness is its association with freedom. Bone and Egg As well as the above items of food which are directly connected with the slavery - freedom dichotomy, we also have a burnt egg and a roasted bone (usually the neck of a chicken) on our Seder plate. These are not connected with slavery or freedom; rather they call to mind the Holy Temple where our ancestors used to offer the Passover lamb sacrifice. It is characteristic of Jewish celebrations that there should be something to bring the Temple to mind. It might be the glass smashed under the foot of the bridegroom at a wedding or the salt on the table into which we dip our bread, or the egg and bone on our Seder table. In this case, the egg represents the festive sacrifice which was offered on the three pilgrim festivals, Passover, Shavuot and Succoth. The bone represents the special Passover offering, and is usually roasted over an open flame as the original sacrifice was. Symbols are a powerful way of making ideas tangible; they have an immediacy which the spoken word alone lacks. The significance of the Seder meal is, as our Sages tell us, that we should come to see ourselves as though we personally had left Egypt. There are, of course, many kinds of Egypts; material, psychological and spiritual, and ultimately the Jew must break out of all of them. It is the visual and tactile force of the symbol which helps us come closer to our ancient roots, so that we can draw inspiration from them to break out of our own personal Egypts, what-ever form they might take.

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Soul Scrubbing - A Passover lesson By Mimi Hecht (Notik)

My right arm is officially a hundred times stronger than my left, still burning and smelling of bleach. The home where I am living and studying this year, Machon Alte, had a day of cleaning yesterday, in honor of the approaching holiday of Passover. Every student was given a job around the "campus." My job? To scrub. To scrub the floor. To scrub all thirty refrigerator racks. To scrub the counters. To scrub the dishes. As I was removing layers of grime, mold, and rotting food from the surfaces of all the items I encountered, I struggled to use my overly-exposedto-fumes brain to tap into the meaning and purpose of all the cleaning. Learning in Tzfat, the city where the study of Kabbalah originated in Northern Israel, has taught me enough to expect more from the seemingly mundane in this world. Learning in Tzfat has taught me enough to expect more from the seemingly mundane in this world The Alter Rebbe is known to have spent an enormous amount of time intensely cleaning his one room house. The commandment of checking

for chametz, and leavened product, (after the house is already cleaned) takes about twenty minutes, but he went all through the night - carefully guiding his candle along the floor in search of crumbs. Clearly, there is something here that goes beyond spring cleaning. The Alter Rebbe wasn't only searching his house. He was searching his soul. He was identifying what a person's motives should be when cleaning for Passover - checking for the crumbs and layers of dirt that could possibly be covering our soul, stopping it from shining its full light. There are many explanations for the much dreaded Passover cleaning. But for me, the Alter Rebbe's approach stands out. So here I am scrubbing and scrubbing. I've got my soul on my mind. And I'm talking to myself. I'm saying, "Mimi, scrub it away." Scrub away negativity. Let your soul shine. Scrub away the suggestive powers of society. Let your soul shine. Scrub away the barriers between your brothers and sisters. Let your soul shine. Scrub away your silly insecurities. Let your soul shine. Scrub

SHMURAH MATZOS The Bikur Cholim of Palm Springs is currently looking for sponsors to help cover the cost of handing out specialhand-made Matzos and grape juice in all major local hospitals, nursing homes & retirement homes.

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away your ego. Let your soul shine. Scrub away laziness. Let your soul shine. Scrub away meaningless distractions. Let your soul shine. Scrub away all the layers. Reveal the light, the shine. Reveal your mission. Reveal your powers. Reveal the meaning. Reveal the light inherit in the dark. Reveal the G-dliness. Reveal redemption. This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. And the whole world, too, is with me. It is Nissan, the month of redemption, and Jews of every type and affiliation are cleaning away. Soul scrubbing and world scrubbing. The world is starting to freshen and sparkle. Passover is on its way. I'll see you in Jerusalem.

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are scrubbed and covered with aluminum foil or cardboard, etc. The stove is thoroughly cleaned. Grates and parts touching the pot should preferably be new for Passover. Cover the stovetop with heavy aluminum foil. To bake on Passover, a tin box is inserted in the oven after it is thoroughly cleaned. Consult a Rabbi on how to kosherize the oven if an insert is not available. The sink is lined with a plastic or tin insert. Stainless steel sinks (not ceramic) may be kosherized. Clean the refrigerator and line with paper or foil, perforated to allow air circulation. Closets, tables and chairs are scrubbed, and cabinet shelves are lined with paper or plastic. Clean the baby highchair, crib, stroller and car seat well.

Monday, April 14 through Tuesday, Search and Burn Chametz We do a ‘Bedikas chametz’ search Sunday night April 22, 2014 Sharing the memories and tasting the freedom, Passover links us to Jewish history and tradition by disposing the Chametz and bringing in the Matzah!

What is Chametz?

”Chametz” includes bread, cookies, pastries, macaroni, whiskey or liquor; any wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt flour that had 18 minute liquid contact before baking. Passover’s chametz prohibition is as severe as eating on Yom Kippur. Even minute chametz particles, or food processed in chametz processing utensils are forbidden. All processed food must be reliably certified Kosher for Passover. It is forbidden to own or derive any benefit from chametz. We do not buy, sell, give a chametz gift, or use chametz pet food. (If there is no Kosher for Passover alternative, the pet is transferred to nonJewish ownership).


Grains similar to wheat, e.g. rice, kasha, peas, lentils, beans, and corn, including corn starch, corn oil, peanuts, soy, etc. are not eaten. (Sephardic Jews may eat kitniyos.)

Cleaning House

We clean every room, closet, drawer, etc. in the house or office to remove any cookies, cereal or crumbs. The car, seats and trunk are thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed. Year-round books or benchers used at the table are sold with the chametz A clean room is dedicated to store Passover supplies. No Passover food is placed in the kitchen until it is kosherized for Passover. Dishes and cutlery are reserved exclusively for Passover. (Consult a rabbi on how to kosherize metal utensils for Passover).

The Kitchen

Kitchen surfaces and counters used year round


April 13 through the house (office & car) in all rooms, closets, shelves, behind furniture, etc. Ten wrapped pieces of bread are placed to be “found” during the search. (Tip: Keep a chametz hiding list, in case you forget their location!) A blessing is recited before searching by candle (use flashlight under beds etc.) with a feather, wooden spoon and bag to collect all chametz found. After the search, we disown all overlooked chametz by saying and translating “Kol Chamira: All leaven in my domain which I did not see or did not remove, or have no knowledge of, shall be null and void as the dust of the earth.”

Burning the Chametz

All chametz found in the search, and all postbreakfast Chametz is burned Monday, April 14 late morning (check your calendar for your area’s chametz deadline), along with this Chametz annulment: “All type of leaven in my possession which I have seen or not seen, which I have removed or not removed, shall be null and void as the dust of the earth.”

Chametz Deadline

Chametz found during Passover must be burned immediately. If found on Yom Tov (1st, 2nd, 7th, or 8th day) or Shabbos, it is covered, and burned after Yom Tov or Shabbos.

Sale of Chametz

All remaining chametz is sold through the rabbi to a gentile, who gives a deposit in a legally binding sale, and the balance is a guaranteed loan. The buyer can later resell it to the seller by mutual agreement. Place all Chametz utensils in the designated room or closet(s) to be sold, and lock or seal it until after Passover.

Unsold Chametz

The prohibition against Chametz applies to all Chametz owned by any Jew during Passover. We

patronize only bakeries/groceries owned by Jews who sold their Chametz, or non-Jewish owned stores. Consult a rabbi which supermarket chains we may buy Chametz from after Passover.

First-Born Fast

The Jewish first-born were spared when the tenth plague struck the Egyptian first-born. In gratitude, our first-born sons fast on Passover, Monday, April 14, but are exempt by hearing a Talmudic Siyum conclusion, usually held in the synagogue.

Laws of the Day Before Passover

After the Chametz deadline, only kosher for Passover foods may be used. But we don’t eat matzah, wine, romaine lettuce, horseradish and endive which are reserved to be eaten the first time at the Seder. Some also abstain from eating the charoses ingredients: apples, pears, and nuts before the Seder.


Once the house is clean of all Chametz, we are ready to usher in Passover. Matzah is a simple mixture of flour and water that did not rise, reminding us how Israel left Egypt in great hurry with no time for their dough to rise. Matzah relives our flight from slavery to freedom. Note: Not all Matzah is kosher for Passover. Read labels carefully. Consult a Rabbi regarding egg Matzah, permitted only in case of illness.

Shmurah Matza

All Kosher for Passover Matzah is carefully watched during baking. Shmurah Matzah is a specially made Matzah, preferably hand baked, whose grains were supervised from the harvesting of the wheat. The special Shmura Matzah is used at least for the first ounce of Matzah eaten at the Seder. A little over half of a round hand baked Shmurah Matzah equals 1 ounce. Some refrain from eating “Gebroks”- Matzah or Matzah meal mixed with liquid, to avoid any possibility of leavened dough. But everyone eats Gebroks on ‘Achron Shel Pesach,’ the last day of Passover (Tuesday, April 22). This day’s Haftarah is about Moshiach; and a Seudat Moshiach meal raises our Redemption awareness.

Maror: Bitter Herbs

Romaine lettuce, endive, fresh horseradish, or a combination of these are eaten for the mitzvah of Bitter Herbs, recalling the Egyptian slavery. (Minimum amount is 1 ounce; Romaine lettuce covering a 12x10 inch area).


The Maror is dipped into the Charoses mixture of crushed nuts, wine, pears and apples symbolizing the mortar the Jews used to make bricks in Egyptian bondage.

The Seder Plate

The Seder Centerpiece has 3 matzos, covered

by a plate or cloth on which the following are arranged: In the upper right-hand corner, a roasted shank or neck bone symbolizes the paschal offering, and is not eaten. In the upper left corner, a hard boiled egg symbolizes the festive offering. The egg is later dipped in salt-water and eaten at the start of the meal. The Charoses is placed on the bottom left, the Karpas vegetable on the bottom right, with the Maror in the center. The romaine lettuce is placed at the bottom. Some Seder Plates are elaborate works of china, silver, or embroidered cloth, but a napkin or cloth is fine.


We recline (to the left) in a relaxed feeling of freedom and royalty when drinking the Four Cups of Wine, eating the Matzah, the Korech, and the Afikoman (do not recline when eating the bitter herbs).

Four Cups

Each person drinks 4 cups of wine: First at Kiddush, the Second after reading the Haggadah, Third after Grace after meals, and the Fourth Cup concludes the Seder. The cup should contain at least 3.5 ounces. Use grape juice if wine is difficult.

Korech: Matzah & Maror Sandwich

We eat a Matzah and maror combination, as Hillel ate Matzah, maror and Paschal lamb together in the holy Temple. This sandwich consists of 1 ounce of bitter herbs placed within two pieces of matzah (1 ounce).


The Afikoman, the last Matzah before saying Grace at meal’s end, is eaten by midnight of the first Seder. At the second Seder, it may be eaten past midnight.

Cup of Elijah / Opening the Door

Toward the Seder’s end, we open the door for Elijah. Recalling our Redemption from Egypt in the past, we also look forward to the future Redemption, exclaiming “Next Year In Jerusalem!” Moshiach isn’t just wishful thinking, but a Divine promise that a Redeemer will inspire all Jews and usher in universal peace to change the world for good.

Expanding the Haggadah

The original Haggadah is in Hebrew, but the story should be understood in plain English (or other language). Suggestion: Rather than the Seder leader ‘monopolizing,’ assign Haggadah paragraphs to all

Good timing enhances a mitzvah. Even if it finally gets done later, “a mitzvah is best at the right time” (Talmud). Procrastination shows lack of interest and appreciation. Although better late than never, the Mitzvah loses its taste, like a cup of hot tea standing around, soda that lost its fizz and gone flat, or Chametz dough after the 18-minute deadline. Sometimes, it’s best not to rush into things, but with a mitzvah let’s strike while the iron is hot. Why wait till next year, or for retirement, to learn Torah, go Kosher, or try Tefillin? The time is ...NOW.

Let’s be Practical participants. For variety, ask someone who knows a foreign language (Russian, French, Spanish, etc,) to read a paragraph aloud in their language.

Not the Last Word

Don’t read the Haggadah merely by rote, but elaborate on it, for “it is praiseworthy to explain the story of the Exodus.” Enhance your Seder with commentary, personal experience, thoughts and insight. Food For Thought: Personal Chametz & Matzah Chametz and Matzah represent the opposites of good and evil. Historically, the Matzah reminds us how the Jews left Egypt in a rush so that their dough had no time to rise. There is also a moral dimension: Chametz and Matzah represent human characteristics. Arrogant and egotistic, Chametz puffs up, swelling bigger, while Matzah’s low profile suggests humility with no pretensions of appearing greater than it really is.

First Fast-Food

The Seder observances help us recall the Exodus. So the question arises: why go through all the motions? Why not just close our eyes and meditate on ‘freedom?” The Seder teaches us that we learn best by doing. Judaism blends the spiritual with the physical, expressing lofty ideals in physical ways. The Seder is rich in symbols that see, taste, touch, and feel the concepts. The horseradish chokes us with bitterness, the Charoses looks and feels like mortar. Matzah allows us to digest, internalize freedom and absorb it into our system. Rather than just express freedom in flowery phrases, we drink four cups of wine. And we don’t just reenact the past, for Elijah’s centerpiece cup represents our Redemption in the future. Good intentions are vague and abstract; they become real and concrete in a physical mitzvah involving not only the mind, but also our body. Our Mitzvos combine thought and action, complementing each other like body and soul.

Chametz and Matzah, the Passover opposites, are both made from flour and water. Timing makes all the difference: bread is left to rise, while Matzah is made in a rush. A Matzah bakery hums with the constant rush and movement of hands, rolling pins, perforators, shovels and dough, into the oven and out. Nothing stands still from the moment flour touches the water until the finished Matzah comes out of the oven. Time is but fleeting moments, here today and gone tomorrow. Intangible and abstract, time makes all the difference. Not only on Passover, but all the time.

Matzah and Mitzvah

This quick Matzah baking movement recalls the rush out of Egypt. The similar Hebrew spelling of Matzah and mitzvah relates the rush of baking Matzah to the mitzvah observance. Just as we are quick with Matzah, let us be prompt and energetic with all mitzvos. Abraham, our Patriarch, is praised for “rising early in the morning” to serve G-d. If we don’t seize the moment, it may be lost when we finally get around to it. “Do not say when I will have time I will study, for you may not have the time.” (Ethics of our Fathers, Chap. 2) LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • APRIL 2014/ NISSAN 5774 n 11

Bikur Cholim At Work


We would like to thank the Jewish Federation of the Desert for their generous help and support toward our ongoing activities. 12 n LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • APRIL 2014/ NISSAN 5774

We invite you to be a partner in Bikur Cholim's programs.

Please use the enclosed envelope to send in your PASSOVER donation. You can also visit our Website: Once again, may G-d bless you and your family.


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A Matzah and a Dream By Yaakov Chaiton

The address 30/55 Parap Road simply didn't exist. This was the conclusion reached by myself and Zevi Shusterman, my classmate from Melbourne's Chabad Yeshiva, as we made our way through the streets of Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory. It was four days before Passover, the 11th day in Nissan, 2006. Zevi and I were in Darwin to arrange a public seder for the local Jews. But we also wished to pay personal house visits to the fifty or so known Jews of Darwin. "After the war, trying to run away from everything, I moved to Perth"One last search at the reverse address, 55/30 Parap Road, would be our last, before admitting defeat. As we walked into the courtyard of 55 Parap Road, four large buildings surrounded us. It was the epicenter of a large Aboriginal commune, and the scene of primitiveness coupled with substance abuse was startling. Overcoming our initial fear, we approached a group of young men and ambitiously asked them if they knew of a man by the name of Joseph De Backer. The men motioned to us to go upstairs. Reaching the fourth floor, we found a group of older men, whom we assumed to be the commune elders. When we repeated our question to the elders, the men simply shrugged their shoulders. But just as we turned around to leave, one of the "elders" announced that there was a man named Joseph who lived a further flight up. With a box of handmade matzah in hand, we excitedly approached a door that bore a tiny mezuzah. Assuming nobody would refuse a free matzah offer, we knocked and called out, "Joseph! We brought you matzah!" An old, life-weary man came to the door

with tears streaming down his face. Before exchanging any words, the old man strangely poked and prodded our arms. "I can't believe it!" he muttered, repeating the words again and again as he gazed upon us. We just stood there, speechless and perplexed. After a few moments, Joseph calmed down and invited us inside. We sat down at the table and Joseph began telling his story: "I am a survivor of Auschwitz. After the war, trying to run away from everything, I moved to Perth. I married a non-Jew with whom I had a son. After my business failed and I was divorced, there was nothing left for me in Perth. My only reason to live was now my son, who serves in the Australian Army and is stationed in Darwin." Joseph took a sip of tea, then continued with his tale. "I moved to Darwin to be near my son and found shelter with my few belongings in this government commune. I slowly lost all contact with the outside world. I have no internet, email, not even a telephone. I venture out of the house only to buy the bare essentials. Even my son rarely visits me anymore. "I had a dream that two rabbis brought me the flat crackers for the holiday""I knew from when I was a little boy that around April there is a Jewish holiday. I didn't remember much about the holiday, but I knew that for a period of time bread was forbidden, and we ate flat crackers. Yesterday, my meager memories of the holiday and Jewish identity left me feeling especially lonely and depressed.

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"I had trouble falling asleep at night; but when I finally did, I had a dream that two rabbis brought me the flat crackers for the holiday. That's why when you two rabbis arrived at my door, I thought I was hallucinating. I poked and prodded you to make sure you were real!" We were overwhelmed and moved by Joseph's tale. We spent several hours speaking and listening to a man all but forgotten by society. Tears of joy streamed down Joseph's face as we helped him don tefillin and say a prayer. Before taking our leave, we gave him all the Jewish reading material we had, including the booklet published by Chabad of Wisconsin, entitled "The Rebbe: An Appreciation," which contains several articles about the Lubavitcher Rebbe as well as pictures of the Rebbe. Joseph walked us down the hall to the stairs, thanked us from the depths of his heart and bade us farewell. A year later, I returned to Darwin. I was looking forward to meeting all the Jews whom we had encountered the previous year, but none more so than Joseph. The Jews of Darwin, after hearing from us about Joseph's plight, helped him and improved his lot. As I entered the old man's apartment, we embraced, then sat down to talk. As Joseph spoke of the community's help, I noticed that the apartment's walls were covered with pictures of the Rebbe, neatly cut out from the brochure, "The Rebbe: An Appreciation." I casually remarked upon the pictures on the wall, assuming Joseph had simply found them to be nice pictures with which to decorate his apartment. But Joseph turned to me with a tone that was anything but casual. "You don't remember the dream? The man in these pictures is the man who sent you boys to me!"

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In Loving Memory of

Candle Lighting Times

Robert Fremont O.B.M.

for Palm Springs, California DATE

Remembered by his family & all his friends

Friday, April 11, 2014 Monday, April 14, 2014 Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Friday, April 18, 2014 Sunday, April 20, 2014 Monday, April 21, 2014 Tuesday, April 22, 2014 Tuesday, April 22, 2014



6:32 p.m. 1 6:34 p.m. 2&4 After 8:00 p.m. 2&4 6:37 p.m. 1 6:39 p.m. 2 After 8:05 p.m. 2 YIZKOR Yom Tov Ends 8:05 p.m.



BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NAI E-LO-HE-NU ME-LECH HA-OLAM ASHER KID-E-SHA-NU BE-MITZ-VOTAV VETZI-VA-NU LE-HAD-LIK NER SHEL SHA-BBAT KO-DESH. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of the holy Shabbat.


BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NAI E-LO-HE-NU ME-LECH HA-OLAM ASHER KID-E-SHA-NU BE-MITZ-VO-TAV VETZI-VA-NU LE-HAD-LIK NER SHEL YOM TOV. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Yom Tov light.

Todah Rabah & Mazal Tov

With heart felt appreciation to you, Rabbi Yankel Kreiman.

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BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NAI E-LO-HE-NU ME-LECH HA-OLAM ASHER KID-E-SHA-NU BE-MITZ-VOTAV VETZI-VA-NU LE-HAD-LIK NER SHEL SHA-BBAT VE-SHEL YOM TOV. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Shabbat and Yom Tov light.


BA-RUCH A-TAH ADO-NAI E-LO-HE-NU ME-LECH HA-OLAM SHE-HECHE-YA-NU VE-KI-YE-MA-NU VE-HIGI-A-NU LIZ-MAN HA-ZEH. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.


Search for Chometz: Sunday, April 13, 2014 After 8:00 p.m. Finish eating Chometz: Monday, April 14, 2014 -10:35 a.m. Burn Chometz by: Monday, April 14, 2014 - 11:40 a.m. For Candle Lighting times anywhere in the World, Please visit our website & click on 'Calendar' for your own times.

Anyone who needs a place for the

'Passover Seder' Please call the 'Bikur Cholim of Palm Springs' 760-325-8076 or e-mail & we will help you to get to a Community Seder!

Burning of the Chometz Ceremony Monday, April 14, 2014 • 10:00 am Please call the Bikur Cholim for more information at 760-325-8076 Bring your Chometz!

SELLING THE “CHOMETZ” The Torah forbids a Jew to own any chometz (bread, cake, beer, etc.) during Passover, so we sell all chometz (left after the search and burning) to a non-Jew, with a rabbi acting as our agent. The non-Jewish buyer gives a small deposit, and the balance becomes a guaranteed loan. The sale of chometz transaction is legally binding, but the buyer may return it and retrieve his deposit. Place all chometz utensils in a specific room or closet(s) to be sold, sealed with tape or lock, until after Passover.

SALE OF CHOMETZ FORM Please Print or Type

I (we*) (SELLER’S NAME) __________________________________________________ hereby authorize Rabbi Yosef Shusterman to dispose of all chometz in my (our) possession wherever it may be, at home, at my (our) place of business, or elsewhere - in accordance with the requirements of Jewish Law as incorporated in the special contract for the sale of Chometz. Resident Address: ___________________________________________________________ City: ______________________________________________________________________ Business Address: ____________________________________________________________ City: ______________________________________________________________________ Signature(s) _________________________________________________________________ * husband and wife, specify names. Must be signed by head of household and preferably all parties. Send to Rabbi Yosef Shusterman, 303 N. Wetherly, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 or fax to (310) 271-0411. Forms must reach us no later than Thursday, April 10, 2014. Responsibility cannot be accepted for forms received later.

The First Passover Seder will be on Monday, April 14, 2014

You can use the enclosed envelope to send this form along with your Passover donation. Thank you! LET MY PEOPLE KNOW • APRIL 2014/ NISSAN 5774 n 19

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Baking the Bread of Freedom By: Rabbi Eli Hecht, Chabad of the South Bay I walked into the supermarket to buy kosher food for the holiday of Passover. To my amazement there were no less than five brands of kosher wines and matzah. The wines were from Italy, France, Israel, California, and upstate New York. The matzah display had boxes from Israel, Cincinnati, and New York. When I was growing up we would eat special hand made matzahs for Passover. The matzah was made from only two ingredients, flour and water. The flour and water must be mixed and kneaded by hand and when the dough is formed, small lumps of dough are given to a baker who hand flattens the dough with small 2 foot rolling pins. Then, a special metal roller, with dozens of pins, is rolled over the flat dough. The dough is shaped and baked in an open flat baker's stove all within 18 minutes from start to finish. Let me describe my first visit to a matzah bakery before Passover. I was 8 years old and my Chasidic grandfather, called Zaydee, called me and said "Eli, Pesach kumpt un m'darf shmura matzah, kim backen matzah." Translated loosely - "Eli, Pesach is coming and we need shmura matzah, come bake matzah." Let me try to describe a visit to strange place in a strange land. The bakery was located in a dilapidated area of Williamsburg, New York. From the outside there were old rusty grates on the window. The building was an old red brick style factory. It must have been built in the late 1880s. The steps leading into the building were made of old cement and had cracks from the many years of use. The doors were old heavy iron doors that had gigantic hinges. The place looked like it was from the dark ages. I stood looking at the place afraid to go in. Zaydee, however, had no time for my hesitation. He just held on to

my hand and said "Yingele, kim arin un too a mitzvah." - Sonny boy, come in and perform the mitzvah of baking matzah for Pesach. Once inside I saw an incredible sight. There were men running back and forth. Some were shouting at the men and women to roll the rolling pins on the dough quicker. Others were singing songs and the baker kept on yelling at the top of his voice "Le shaim mitzvas matzah" - "for the sake of the deed of matzah", meaning that each matzah was being baked for the express purpose of fulfilling G-d's command of having unleavened bread - matzah. I had never seen so many things happening at once. In one area stood an old man with a long beard and peyos (long side locks). His only job was to be the water man. He was dressed in a bright white apron and every once in a while he would take a cup of water from a 25 gallon jug prepared from the night before and pour it into a new stainless steel basin. As he did that a second person would dump a huge cup of the special flour into the basin whilst a third strong young man would begin to mix the flour and water by hand. He would not stop moving his hands until all the flour was mixed and had turned into dough. His hands twirled faster and faster like a tornado. It was magic to me. Then another person would take the dough and make it into little lumps and give it to workers at the kneading table. There must have been 5 tables with 8 workers to a table. All of the workers were moving the rolling pins as fast as possible. The heavier the person rolling the rolling pin the flatter the dough became and the matzahs were thinner. This answers the long unanswered question of why some hand made matzahs are thicker than others? Each matzah is hand made and then carried




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to the oven on the rolling pin. The baker puts the matzah into the oven and after a minute he removes the baked matzah. If he waits too long the matzah burns to a crisp. The matzah is then placed on a table that is perforated with hundreds of holes with a fan underneath the table cooling off the matzah. The finished matzah is then hand carried to the packer who puts eight matzahs to a pound box and then puts them away very carefully as he doesn't want the matzah to break. I remember seeing the people coming and going, the singing, and the flour mixing with the water. The mixer had the largest muscular hands I had ever seen. After kneading the thousands of batches his hands were like steel vises. The women of all ages were dressed, as prescribed by the Jewish orthodox modesty code, with the hair on their heads completely covered, their arms covered to the wrists, and their dresses worn over their knees. Their language was a United Nations of Yiddish, Hungarian, Hebrew and a little English. Many of the arms of the men and women bore the branded tattoo number from the Aushwitz concentration death camp. For them, each matzah baked was a statement of their faith and good fortune. It was a strange but happy world to see all the ages thrown together for the holiday. The holiday of Passover commences Monday night, April 14th at sunset. The story of Passover is an inspirational one. It tells us how a whole nation of people were freed from years of tyrany and enslavement. They experienced total freedom from Egyptian bondage. The Passover night festive meal, called the seder, symoblizes the ultimate liberation for all people in all places in all times. This year when we eat our matzah we should break off a piece and share it with our neighbour telling him that the message of liberation is for all people. A happy Passover to you all.

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Low Carb, Fat Free, By Nechama Cohen Salad: 1 large onion, peeled and quartered, mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground curry powder 2 small tomatoes 1 small eggplant, washed and ends removed 1 small sweet potato 2 small-medium zucchini 1 basket any type of mushroom or combination of different kinds Dressing: Non-stick cooking spray 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced salt and pepper to taste Garnish: fresh and/dried basil and/or rosemary a bit of kosher salt Slice vegetables and lay flat in a baking pan lined with baking paper that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spray vegetables with the non-stick spray as well. Wisk the dressing ingredients and spread on the vegetables. Sprinkle with dried herbs of choice. Bake covered at 400°F until golden, about 15-25 minutes. Uncover and bake until tender-crisp. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 10 servings

Braised Vegetables

Low Carb, Low Fat, By Nechama Cohen 1 head fennel non-stick cooking spray 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 each red, yellow and green pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips 4 stalks celery, sliced 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips 2 tablespoons lemon juice salt and pepper to taste 1/4-1/2 cup water sugar substitute equal to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional) Trim off flowery leaves and outer layers of the fennel. Cut off the bottom. Pull apart the rest of the layers and rinse well. Pat dry and slice into thin half-rounds. Spray a large saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Add oil and place over medium heat until hot. Add fennel and other prepared vegetables and stir until coated. Lower heat; add lemon juice, salt and pepper, sugar substitute and 1/4 cup water. Stir and cook for 10-20 minutes, adding water to prevent vegetables from burning. Taste and correct seasoning. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with lemon slices, whole peppercorns and/or fresh thyme. Yield: 6 servings

Broccoli Potato Kugel

By Zakah Glaser 4 potatoes, shredded 4 carrots, shredded 2 lb. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained 5 eggs 3/4 C. mayonnaise 2 T. onion flakes 1 T. salt


Directions: Beat eggs. Add mayonnaise, salt, and onion flakes. Add all vegetables to beaten egg mixture and pour into greased baking dish. Bake at 350*F uncovered for about 45 minutes.



By Jamie Geller 1 (2 ½ -pound) beef brisket, thick-cut 1 tablespoon paprika ½ teaspoon basil 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 3 medium onions, sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved 1½ cups ketchup 1½ cups dry red wine 1½ cups water Preheat oven to 325° F. Rinse brisket. Place in roasting pan. Rub paprika, basil, salt and pepper into meat. Scatter onions and garlic over meat. In a medium bowl, mix ketchup, wine and water. Pour over brisket. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, tenting so that the foil does not touch the meat. Bake, covered, at 325° for 3 hours, or until a digital instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket reads 190° for well done. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing diagonally, against the grain. Serve warm, and pass pan juices in a sauce boat. Yield: 8 servings

Cream of Carrot Soup 2 onions 2½ quarts water 1 pound carrots 4 or 5 potatoes 1 teaspoon salt

Dice onions. Peel and slice carrots and potatoes. Simmer in salted water in 3–4 quart pot for about a half hour or until vegetables are soft. Then blend soup in blender on “puree” until thick. Serves 6–8. Variation: Substitute butternut squash or sweet potatoes for carrots.

Passover Molten Chocolate Cake By Levana Kirschenbaum 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, best quality ½ cup margarine spread 1 tablespoon coffee powder, mixed with a few drops hot water 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 6 eggs 1 cup sugar 2 tablespoons potato starch 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt the chocolate, margarine, coffee, and cocoa over very low heat, or microwave in a bowl for 1 to 2 minutes. In a food processor, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix. Add the potato starch and vanilla and pulse until just combined. Pour the mixture into 8 to 10 greased ramekins or muffin molds and bake about 12 minutes, or until the top is barely set and the center is still slightly wet. Watch the baking closely after the first 12 minutes: Do not overbake, or the center will solidify. Err on the side of caution and bake rather less than more: Invert just one on a plate—if it’s too runny, don’t worry, just stuff it right back in its mold and return all the molds to the oven for another couple minutes. Invert the cakes onto dessert plates and serve immediately while hot, alone, or with vanilla or coffee ice cream or coconut sorbet. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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Burning of the Chometz Ceremony Monday, April 14, 2014 • 10:00 am Please call the Bikur Cholim for more information at 760-325-8076 Bring your Chometz!

The First Passover Seder will be on Monday, April 14, 2014

Lmpk Passover 0414  

Let My People Know Passover 2014. The Bikkur Cholim of Palm Springs celebrates Passover Nissan 5774.

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