Chag Sameach.  In observance of Passover, the JCC is closed today Friday, April 29. The JCC will reopen at 8:00 AM on Saturday, April 30.  We wish all JCC members, neighbors, and partners the happiest of Passovers and a Shabbat Shalom. -- For a list of future building holiday hours click here.

Weekly Shabbat Messages

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, April  29, 2016. Click here to view our archived Shabbat messages.

The Last Day of Passover

This Shabbat is the last day of Passover – actually for Reform Jews, Friday is the last day. Why the difference? The Jewish calendar is a complicated thing. Originally, the new month was declared by the High Priest when two witnesses testified that they had sighted the new moon, which signifies the beginning of the month. Later, when the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the witnesses came to Jerusalem to testify. After the Temple was destroyed in the year 70 by the Romans, the witnesses came to the head of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court of 70 Rabbis) in the town of Yavneh. In any case, when the new moon was declared, word was sent to the Jews in Babylon. Since this was before the internet, it took a long time for the news to reach Babylon. Therefore in the Diaspora (i.e. any place BUT the land of Israel) people worried that they wouldn’t know when the new month started. Therefore, the Rabbis ordained that each Yom Tov (holiday) be celebrated for an extra day outside of Israel. It wasn’t until the fourth Century that they Rabbis created a mathematical system to calculate the calendar. Sighting the new moon, therefore, is no longer really necessary. That’s why the Reform movement has decided not to celebrate the extra day. More traditional Jews, however, retain this ancient custom/law. Furthermore, in Israel, the first day and the last day of Passover are both a Yom Tov – a ritual holiday. The rules are similar to the Shabbat with all the restrictions of the Sabbath. In the diaspora, these Yom Tovs are each celebrated for two days – two days at the beginning of Passover, and two days at the end of Passover. That’s why we have two seders in America, and only one seder in Israel. (At least for Orthodox and Conservative Jews, and for Reform Jews who go to friends and relatives for the second seder.) And that’s why the JCC is closed on the seventh day of Passover.

So... is there anything special or different about the last day of Passover? Well… YES! Some people relax the way they eat on the last day. Yes... tradition says that everything has be strictly Kosher for Passover, but some Jews don’t eat Matzah mixed with any moisture (think Matzah Balls or Matzah Kugel, or Matzah Biscotti)! However, on the last day they do. Some people have a special meal at the end of the last day – just before the sun sets. This meal has Passover foods, and has four cups of wine, mirroring the seder. Also, on the last day of Passover, there is a Yizkor ceremony in the synagogue. This ceremony commemorating the dead is held on the last day of some holidays and on Yom Kippur. And, of course, on Saturday night after both the Shabbat and the Chag (Holiday) is over, many of us will have Pizza.

Chag Sameach, and Shabbat Shalom.

 

 

 

 

 

Past Shabbat Messages

Shabbat & Secret Jews - Friday, April 26, 2013

Out of the Land of Heaven - Friday, May 3, 2013

Almost Shavuot - Friday, May 10, 2013

Cakes on Shabbat - Friday, May 17, 2013

Dressing Up for Shabbat (Part I) - Friday, May 24, 2013

Dressing Up for Shabbat (Part II) - Friday, May 31, 2013

Solomon's Temple and the Shabbat - Friday, June 7, 2013

Shabbat Starts When? - Friday, June 14, 2013 & June 13, 2014

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part I - Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part 2 - Friday, June 28, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part 3 - Friday, July 5, 2013

Crypto Jews and the Shabbat - Friday, July 12, 2013

Shabbat Nachamu... The Sabbath of Consolation - Friday, July 19, 2013

Bialik and Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, July 26, 2013

Angels and Shabbat - Friday, August 2, 2013

Shabbat in the Land of the Midnight Sun - Friday, August 9, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem As Told By Jody-  Friday, August 16, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem II As Told By Jody - Friday, August 23, 2013

The Streets of Jerusalem - Friday, August 30, 2013

The Final Heat – Closing in on Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat - Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shabbat and Yom Kippur - Friday, September 13, 2013

Species, Species and More Species - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shabbat Breishit - Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Evening & Morning - Friday, October 4, 2013

Singing and the Sabbath - Friday, October 11, 2013 & Friday, May 9, 2014

The Rainy Season - Friday, October 18, 2013

The Triennial Torah Cycle - Friday, October 25, 2013

The Sabbath and the Temple - Friday, November 1, 2013

It Is All In the Timing - Friday, November 8, 2013

Challah - Friday, November 15, 2013

Why is the Challah Braided? - Friday, November 22, 2013

Shabbat, Thanksgivukkah and Beyond - Friday, November 29, 2013

Carrying on Shabbat - Friday, December 6, 2013

Eruv Art - Friday, December 13, 2013

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness - Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness Continued - Friday, December 27, 2013

The First Shabbat of the Year - Friday, January 3, 2014

Shabbat Shirah - Friday, January 10, 2014

Shabbat and Trees - Friday, January 17, 2014

Strangers in our Midst - Friday, January 24, 2014

The Ten Commandments, Part I - Friday, January 31, 2014

The Ten Commandments, Part II - Friday, February 7, 2014

Shabbat, Babylonians, Tacitus, and the Communists - Friday, February 14, 2014

The Shabbat Umbrella - Friday, February 21, 2014

Lighting Shabbat Candles - Friday, February 28, 2014

Philip Roth and Shabbat - Friday, March 7, 2014

Shabbat Zachor - Friday, March 14, 2014

Shabbat in Amsterdam - Friday, March 21, 2014

Ahad Ha’am and the Shabbat - Friday, March 28, 2014

Shabbat at the JCCA Biennial - Friday, April 4, 2014

Shabbat HaGadol – The Great Sabbath - Friday, April 11, 2014

Challah on the Shabbat During Passover? - Friday, April 18, 2014

Shabbat and the Counting of the Omer - Friday, April 25, 2014

Shabbat and the First Yom Ha’Atzmaut - Friday, May 2, 2014

Sabbaths and Sabbaticals - Friday, May 16, 2014

Light and Dark and theShabbat - Friday, May 23, 2014

Learning on Shabbat - Friday, May 30, 2014

The Shabbat After Shavuot - Friday, June 6, 2014

Shabbat in Outer Space - Friday, June 20, 2014

The Longest Friday of the Year - Friday, June 27, 2014

Shabbat and the 4th of July - Friday, July 4, 2014

The Fast of Tammuz - Friday, July 11, 2014

The Three Weeks - Friday, July 18, 2014

Haftarot for the Three Weeks - Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ninth of Av - Friday, August 1, 2014

Sabbath Peace - Friday, August 8, 2014

All You Need is Love - Friday, August 15, 2014

The Secular Shabbat - Friday, August 22, 2014

Labor Day - Friday, August 29, 2014

Elul - Friday, September 5, 2014

Philip Roth and Shabbat - Friday, September 12, 2014

The Last Shabbat of 5774 - Friday, September 19, 2014

Shabbat Shuvah - Friday, September 26, 2014

Shabbat and Yom Kippur - Friday, October 3, 2014

Species, Species and More Species - Friday, October 10, 2014 

Bialik and Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, October 31, 2014

Akeidat Yitzchak... The Binding of Isaac - Friday, November 7, 2014

Saving the Jewish People - Friday, November 14, 2014

Shabbat and the Artist - Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving - Friday, November 28, 2014

Shabbat and the ‘Cello - Friday, December 5, 2014

Short Friday - Friday, December 12, 2014

The Seven Day Week - Friday, December 19, 2014

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness - Friday, December 26, 2014

The First Shabbat of the Year - Friday, January 2, 2015

The Kiddush - Friday, January 9, 2015

Bread - Friday, January 16, 2015

Covering the Challah - Friday, January 23, 2015

Shabbat Shirah - Friday, January 30, 2015

A Kind of World to Come - Friday, February 6, 2015

Orchestras on Shabbat? - Friday, February 20, 2015

Shabbat Zachor - Friday, February 27, 2015

The Word “Shabbat” - Friday, March 6, 2015

Shabbat and Daylight Savings Time - Friday, March 13, 2015

Saturday Not Sunday - Friday, March 20, 2015

The Shabbat of Kings - Friday, March 27, 2015

The Seder/Shabbat Confluence - Friday, April 3, 2015

Shabbat: Passover and Not Passover - Thursday, April 9, 2015

Post Pesach Shabbat - Friday, April 17, 2015

Shabbat in Israel - Friday, April 24, 2015

Two Shabbatot: Israel and America - Friday, May 1, 2015

Tabernacle. Temple. Synagogue - Friday, May 15, 2015

Shabbat and Shavuot - Friday, May 22, 2015 

Weekly Torah Portions - Friday, June 5, 2015

Moses Maimonides and the Torah Portions - Friday, June 12, 2015

Reading the Prophets on Shabbat - Friday, June 19, 2015

The Triennial Cycle - Friday, June 26, 2015

Shabbat and the 4th of July - Friday, July 3, 2015

Shabbat in Outer Space - Friday, July 10, 2015

Nine Days - Friday, July 17, 2015

Tisha B'Av - Friday, July 24, 2015

A Taste of the World to Come - Friday, August 7, 2015

Sabbaths of Consolation - Friday, August 14, 2015

Oliver Sacks and the Sabbath - Friday, August 21, 2015

Slichot - Friday, September 4, 2015

The Last Shabbat of the Year - Friday, September 11, 2015

Shabbat Shuvah – The Shabbat of Return - Friday, September 18, 2015

Gefilte Fish - Friday, September 25, 2015

The Sabbath of Sukkot - Friday, October 2, 2015

Shabbat Breishit - Friday, October 9, 2015

Burying the Etrog - Friday, October 16, 2015

Sabbath Peace - Friday, October 23, 2015

The Life of Sarah - Friday, November 6, 2015

Where do lighting Shabbat candles come from? - Friday, November 13, 2015

The Sabbath and the Pushka - Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Shabbat Saturday, Cyber Monday, and #GivingTuesday - Friday, November 27, 2015

A Winter Tale, Shabbat Style - Friday, December 4, 2015

Shabbat Hanukkah - Friday, December 11, 2015

Public Reading of the Torah - Friday, December 18, 2015

Shabbat and The Haftarah Readings - Friday, December 25, 2015

New Year - Friday, January 1, 2016

Bar & Bat Mitzvah and the Shabbat - Friday, January 8, 2016

A Shabbat for the Birds - Friday, January 22, 2016

Rabbi Nachman and this Shabbat’s Torah Portion - Friday, January 29, 2016

Shabbat and the Leap Year - Friday, February 12, 2016

Shabbat and the Professional Musician - Friday, February 19, 2016

Shabbat and Danger - Friday, February 26, 2016

Baseball on Shabbat? - Friday, March 11, 2016

Shabbat - What’s for Dinner? - Friday, March 18, 2016

Purim in Walled Cities - Friday, March 25, 2016

A Sabbath of Peace - Friday, April 1, 2016

Poetry, Music, and the Shabbat - Friday, April 8, 2016

Art and the Shabbat - Friday, April 15, 2016

Shabbat and Rabbit Hunting - Friday, April 22, 2016

The Last Day of Passover - Friday, April 29, 2016