MITZVAH OF THE WEEK
“I am my beloved and my beloved is mine.” Song of Songs
Near the beginning of the Passover seder, right after eating the parsley, the Haggadah (text for the seder) draws our attention to passages from the Megillah (biblical book), Song of Songs. This book is read because the festival comes at the beginning of springtime, referred to Song of Songs:
“Arise my dear one, and come away! For now the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The blossoms have appeared in the land, the time of singing has come; the song of the turtledove is heard in our land…”
The book is seen as an allegory of the love of the Jewish people and God, a love that was born and nurtured during the Exodus experience. As we experience the joy of the Passover festival, we are moved to not only express our love for the Holy One of blessings, but also the love we have for one another.
The Mitzvah of the Week is to reflect upon those in your life who you love and to express that love. These expressions of love and affection is an opportunity to also speak of your appreciation for the special people in your life.
This upcoming Shabbat morning we will include a Yizkor (Memorial) Service during our prayers. This service gives us the opportunity to acknowledge those with whom we had a special relationship, who died in years past, who contributed to our lives, and who we lovingly remember. This remembering those who are no longer with us is also part of expressing our love as the Mitzvah of the Week.
May you have a continuing joyful Passover week, and a Shabbat of peace.
Rabbi Debbie Israel