April 2019

   As the youngest in the family, I enjoyed a few special privileges at our Passover seders, most notably, reciting the Four Questions and opening the door for Elijah.  When we open the door, we sing Eliyahu Hanavi and announce the coming of the Messiah with the prophet Elijah.  As an adult, I approach this moment differently.
 Each year we remind ourselves that Elijah is chosen for this task because he does not die.  We read in the Torah about the prophet’s ascent to heaven in a whirlwind and in a chariot.  If someone can miraculously reach heaven, would he really be foiled by a closed door?  Do we really need to open the door for Elijah to join us?
   In the Haftarah that we read just before Passover on Shabbat Hagadol, the prophet Malachi proclaims that in Messianic times “the hearts of parents will be turned to children, and the hearts of children to their parents.”  In other words, a Messianic Age is predicated on harmony within the family.
   So we open the door not only to make it possible for Elijah to enter, but to show that we are ready.  Passover is the quintessential family holiday.  Everyone gathers together and we sing, we pray, we eat, and we understand the powerful bonds that have kept us together throughout the generations.  When you (or your children) open the door this year, think of it as letting the prophet Elijah in to see that we are ready, and that we are worthy of his blessing.  Then sing out with full voice and heart!
   I invite you to join our BSJC Community Seder on Saturday, April 20 at 6 pm!  Be sure to RSVP to
BethSamuelOffice@comcast.netChag sameach