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D’var Torah - Metzora - Passover - Nisan

From our Hebrew School Director Liora Ramati

What would you do if you find yourself lost in the jungle at nighttime? Would you stay put till daylight risking yourself to be attacked by wild animals or will you continue to walk in darkness with hope to somehow find your way to safety? Will you dare to move?


Either way you chose there are no guaranties, so what would to do? Think about it…

The famous scenario of our escape from Egypt was exactly that. When we arrived to the red sea understanding that the Egyptians have changed their mind and are on their way to get us. Staying put was as dangerous as getting in the deep water but Moses stretched his hand and the water split open for their safe escape. Who did he stretch his hand to? G-d freed us from Egypt with an outstretched arm. He pulled us out of Egypt.

One of the survivors from the Nova festival told the story of her escape from the hamassacre of Oct 7, fear paralyzed her as the bullets were flying everywhere. She didn’t know what way to run to when another girl she didn’t even know held on to her and told her to run and not to let go of her hand. Their hands stayed glued together until they got out of danger. Who was that other girl who found the right direction to run to? And who was she holding hands with to know the way to safety?

We all have those moments in life when we feel we are between a rock and a hard place. Can you think about yours? I remember traveling in Costa Rica with 2 other guys in Corcovado’s dense rainforest. We were navigating our way from one camp to another during a 3-day hike when we were late to leave for the second camp, not leaving enough time to get there before night fall and got stuck with no way to find a safe path. We were tired and hungry and didn’t know what to do. As our fear grew with the loud animal’s night sounds, we decided to continue walking in a line, holding tight each other hands, praying and making vows to G-d when we were finally saved by the sound of the camp’s generator. While slowly leading our way in total darkness, I wondered, whose hand was I holding that showed me the right track to safety?

This week Haftorah for Metzora (even though we are not reading it) is a great example of moving forward even in a situation where we are faced with two equally difficult alternatives. It tells the story of 4 men, lepers, outside the camp gate. They said to one another, “why should we sit here waiting for death? If we decide to go into the town, with the famine, we shall die there; and if we sit here, still we die. Come, let us desert to the enemy’s Aramean camp. If they let us live, we shall live, and if they put us to death, we shall but die.” That’s when, they decided to do “something” verses “nothing”.

They left at night and when they arrived to the Aramean camp there was no one there. G-d had caused the Aramean camp to hear a sound of chariots and horses of a huge army. out of fear that Israel hired kings of the Hittites and of Mitzraim to attack them, the Aramean escaped. They abandoned their tents, horses, everything as it was as and fled for their lives. The lepers went in, ate and drank. They ended up going to the king palace to tell them the good news so all the people can enjoy from the food and drink that was left. The lepers ended up saving the lives of the people who deserted them.

All these stories are examples of miracles! When G-d stretches his hand and waits for us to give him our stretched hand and say to him, show us the way, we trust in you!

Miracles – Nisim happen every day, and especially in the miraculous month of Nissan.

Nissan is the month of the months, this is when we should expect big miracles, it’s the king of all months, the sages say we should connect to it, acknowledge its powers. It’s the month of redemption and freedom so we can expect amazing things to happen. This weekend was the biggest proof to a big miracle when Israel was attached by Iran with over 300 missiles which were successfully diverted. There wasn’t just one miracle on April 13 (5 Nissan), there were few, an important one, was the helping hands we received even from a country like Jordan, who we would least expect to help protect us.

This week Torah portion Metzoa – leper followed last week story of Tazria. both Parashiyot discuss the laws and rituals of impurity and purity. The Torah dedicates two portions dealing with a disease which disappeared from the face of the earth. Why? Is there a double importance to a subject that supposably is irrelevant in our life time. we can only imagine, how no one gave the leper a helping hand out of discuss, fear of contagious, or negative thoughts of them. People assumed They had to have done something wrong to deserve this horrible disease when in reality it is like a psychosomatic disease that irrupts due to high levels of severely stressful life events and anxiety which contribute to the offset of the disease in the first place.

Today I feel that one of the big miracles was that Israel although treated as a leper since many moons ago and especially since Oct 7 received, even from a past enemy, a hand. And the even bigger miracle is yet to come when the leper just like the story of the Haftarah will be the one that will save all the other nations from the biggest enemy of all.

So, what is the great lesson, appropriate for a special Shabbat before Passover called Shabbat Hagadol (great): I believe it’s about reaching hands to one another, friends, strangers, the less fortunate…we can’t expect G-d to reach his hand to us, when we need, without doing the same for others. Passover is a great holiday to practice just that as we are told to invite the poor or the one less fortunate to our Passover Seder dinner.

This Passover, fill Elija cup, by pouring a little bit of wine from all your guests cups, its up to each and every one of us to be Elija and help bring the Gehula – redemption.

Every year at the Passover seder, Jews around the world are re-telling their story by declaring: ha lahma anya, and “All who are hungry, come and eat!” It is a beautiful gesture that expresses one of the core values of this holiday: everyone deserves to celebrate being free at Passover.

Over the weekend Israel was preparing for the threat of an attack from Iran, suggesting people to buy generators in case we experience a bad hit but multiple nations came together to be by our side, holding hands to fend off our enemy. Thank G-d no one needed to turn on their generator but Israel had their emotional generator on, full force, which gave them strength to deal with this horrible attack.

Do you remember the question I started with? What would you do in a situation when both options are risky? This is where Israel is today and Israel decided to move forward and not to wait for daylight since she is attacked at night. She has to act to be saved.

Lets add one more song to the Hagada this year, Yad Beyad velev el lev, hand in hand and heart to heart, together everything is possible walking together in one long chain.

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, is asking to add a special prayer he wrote for the release of the hostages to be recited while reading the Haggadah.

He wrote a letter explaining how hard celebrating Passover will be to some families whose loved ones are still missing and their seats are left empty.

He wrote: “Each one of us has the holy obligation to feel the pain of our neighbor and to recite a special prayer during the momentous event of reading the Passover Haggadah, and to remember and pray for those hostages who are in pain and captivity.”


“Please, plant brotherhood, peace, and friendship in everyone’s hearts. Remove jealousy and baseless hatred, and spread over us the shelter of Your peace, and we should soon merit to sing before you a new song.” Amen and Hag Sameach!


Beth Moshe Congregation is filled with generations of South Florida families with roots and traditional values. 

2225 NE 121 Street, North Miami, Florida 33181

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