Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shabbat HaGadol

This is the Sabbath before Passover. This is to remember the 10th of Nisan which originally would have been a 7th day Sabbath according to documents I’ve read. I haven’t researched this extensively but according to the Sabbath before Passover has been called The Great Shabbat to remember the 10th of Nisan when the Israelites were commanded to select a one-year old lamb and keep it in their home for four days before sacrificing it for Passover. Of course on that eventful 1st Passover, the lamb’s blood was applied to the doorposts so that the death angel would Pass Over the homes and spare the first born son. So even though today is not the 10th of Nisan, it is a good time to mark the remembrance of that day and recall what our Passover Lamb did for us. Today I plan to read the gospels and recall what Yeshua would have been doing this 10th day of Nisan and meditate on that while I prepare my Shabbat HaGadol meal.

Today I am fixing my second favorite Shabbat dinner – Matzoh Ball Soup, Roast Chicken, Rice Pilaf, and Israeli Salad. Had a spice cake mix in the pantry I need to get rid of before Passover so decided to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake for dessert. I use Ina Garten’s recipe for Roast Chicken and stuff the cavity with Lemon halves, fresh thyme, and a whole bulb of garlic. It is simply prepared by washing and drying well then salting good with kosher salt. I truss it before roasting and it always comes out perfect which is good as she calls the recipe, “Perfect Roast Chicken.” For the Rice Pilaf, I generally add carrots, mushrooms, onions, parsley, etc. This week the leek’s were absolutely beautiful so I am adding a healthy amount of chopped leeks. I reserved some of my chicken broth from my soup to add to my pilaf which always ensures the pilaf will be moist and fluffy. Israeli Salad is always a hit in my house no matter what I serve with it or what meal I serve it with – we even eat it for breakfast. I make it several different ways but today I am making a traditional version with cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley.

For Passover week I am making an Olive Israeli Salad my husband and I love to eat with matzoh. I only make this version for Passover so it gives us something to look forward to. I use a variety of olives and usually have to make it every other day throughout the week because we just can’t get enough.

Our G-d is a G-d of remembrance and we can thank the Jewish people for remembering and preserving our heritage, our Torah, and G-d’s commandments over the centuries in spite of constant obstacles and aggression. This Passover, let us not lose hope – let us persevere in spite of our current world events and personal tragedies. Romans 5:2 states, “we exult in the hope of the glory of G-d” and verse 5 says that “hope does not disappoint because the love of G-d has been poured out within our hearts through the Ruach HaChodesh.” Finally, Revelations 12:11 says that we overcome [HaSatan] “because of the blood of the lamb, because of the word of our testimony, and because we love not our life even unto death.”

Hope is a powerful thing – it can keep us going when everything we see and touch says there is no hope. But somehow that hope cannot be taken away – I believe it is what allowed many to survive the Holocaust and to endure impossible physical limitations. The nazi’s stripped their victims of seemingly everything there was to take including human dignity – but the one thing they could not take was hope – a hope in a living G-d. A hope that He will deliver us once again.

Celebrate your deliverance today – past deliverance and future deliverance.

Chag Sameach!

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