We were locked down for the Holiday of Pesach. This was the night of watching according to the Torah as in the morning (actually around high noon). They were under curfew the whole night of the 15th. I live across from the King David hotel. It is close enough that when there is no curfew, I can walk by it. Not on Wednesday night, it like everything else was under curfew. The Mashiach tried to come, but he was stopped by the police and couldn’t get in. Let’s hope for better Mazel next Year!
A prayer for when you can’t comply with the Requirements
This prayer was found with one of the few survivors of the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp..
Recently it was learned that the tefillah was composed by Rabbi Yissachar-Bernard Davids, who was the Chief Rabbi of Rotterdam, Holland during World War II. He was transferred to the Bergen Belsen Nazi concentration camp with his family after Germany invaded Holland.
Here are his poignant words:
לִפְנֵי אֲכִילַת חָמֵץ יֹאמַר בְּכַּוָנַת הַלֵב:
אָבִינוּ שֶׁבַּשָׁמַיִם הִנֵּה גָלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לְפָנֶיךָ שֶׁרְצוֹנֵנוּ לַעַשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ וְלָחֹג אֶת חַג הַפֶּסַח בַּאַכִילַת מַצָה וּבִשְׁמִירַת אִיסוּר
חָמֵץ, אַךְ עַל זֹאת דָאֲבָה לִבֵּנוּ שֶׁהַשִׁעְבּוּד מְעַכֵּב אוֹתָנוּ וַאֲנַחְנוּ נִמְצָאִים בְּסַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת. הִנְנוּ מוּכָנִים וּמְזוּמָנִים לְקַיֵים מִצְוַתְךָ "וָחַי
בָּהֶם" וְלֹא שֶׁיָמוּת בָּהֶם, וְלִזָהֵר מֵאַזְהָרָתְךָ "הִשָׁמֶר לְךָ וּשְׁמוֹר נַפְשְׁךָ מְאוֹד.“ עַל כֵּן תְּפִילָתֵנוּ לְךָ שֶׁתְּחַיֵינוּ וּתְקַיְימֵנוּ וּתְגָאָלֵנוּ
בִּמְהֵרָה לִשְׁמוֹר חוּקֶיךָ וְלַעַשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ וּלְעָבְדְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם. אָמֵן
The prayer is prefaced with the words, “Before eating chometz, say this with heartfelt commitment.”
Our Father in Heaven, You know very well that our will is to do Your will and celebrate the festival of Pesach by eating matzah and being vigilant with the prohibition of chametz. But to our heartfelt regret, our enslavement restrains us and we find ourselves with our lives in danger. We are set and prepared to fulfill Your commandant of “And you shall live by them” (Vayikra 18:5), “and not die by them” (Yoma 85b),” and be heedful of
“Beware for yourself and greatly beware for your soul” (Devarim 4:9). Therefore our prayer to You is that You keep us alive, sustain us, and redeem us quickly so that we can observe Your laws and fulfill Your will and serve You with a full heart, amen.
Many people have told me that they now read this Tefillah at their Seder table to teach
the assembled the strength of the soul of Jews in the Concentration Camps and the gratitude we must have to Hashem for the conditions we live in today.
It is understandable and commendable.
Have a beautiful and powerful Passover.
No Joke today, to contemplate on the words