Messages from Rabbi Russo

April 1, 2016 - 22 Adar Bet

This Shabbat is one of the four special Shabbatot leading up to Pesach, Shabbat Parah.  If the growing Kosher for Passover supermarket aisles have not served as a reminder that Pesach is coming, then Shabbat Parah will.  Parah refers to the Red Heifer.  In the time of the Torah, the ashes of the Red Heifer were used as part of a ceremony of purification for people who had come into contact with the dead.  It enabled such an individual to participate in the sacrificial offering until the person was completely ritually cleansed.  An example of such an offering is the Pesach offering, thus making this ritual important as we approach the holiday of Passover.

In modernity we do not have such a ritual, yet we still purify ourselves and our homes in preparation for Pesach.  Here are some examples of how we can accomplish this:

 1. Meditate - Take time for prayer and/or meditation to contemplate what it means to revert to our Spring selves.  We can spiritually prepare for the holiday by getting into the Pesach mode.  

 2. Spring Cleaning - Get a head start on the big Pesach cleaning and kashering by cleaning out your closets and junk drawers.

 3. Keep Rockland Beautiful - We are participating in a county-wide cleanup on April 10.  We will meet at West Nyack Hamlet Green, 721 West Nyack Road, West Nyack, NY 10994, to check in from 9 am - 12 pm.  Join the West Nyack team and register here: http://www.keeprocklandbeautiful.org/cleanup-registration/

 4. Growing Edge - Choose one trait that you see in yourself that upsets you and work on it.  We all have areas of growth.  We can try to get rid of one fault or improve one area in our personal lives.  

 Come celebrate Pesach with CSI with some fabulous upcoming events! 

- April 12, Women's Seder, at 7 pm - Reservations a Must.

- April 22, Siyum for the First Born, at 7:30 am.

- April 22,  Burning Chametz, with an antique Fire Truck and Sparky, with pizza, at 9:45 am

- April 23,  Community Seder, at 8:30 pm - Reservations a Must.

- April 27, Matzah Brie on the Porch, All you can eat matzah brie for $5 at Art Cafe, 5:30 - 7:30 pm.  

This Friday night at 6 pm you are encouraged to come out to hear our guest davener from Long Beach. 

I want to also thank all of the fabulous volunteers from Purim.  In addition to Isabel's beautiful thank you, huge thanks goes to Lisa Berke -Weidenbaum, Helene Parker and Sharon Mitchel, who ensured that everyone received delicious Hammentashen.  

Shabbat Shalom.