|(March 27, 2021, 11:30 a.m.) -- Tonight's Passover Seder (ceremonial meal reminding us of enslavement and liberation) includes a common Jewish prayer. It's not specific to Passover. It's said at the start of multiple Jewish holidays, on happy occasions such as Bar Mitzvahs, the birth of a child and (interesting) when one encounters a friend not seen for some time.
The text is believed to date back at least 1,500 years. It's commonly recited quickly, perhaps too quickly.
I'm told that in presiding at Seders, my grandfather declined to speed through it. He paused and stressed each one of the prayer's three key terms. The prayer acknowledes G-d as Lord and King of the Universe who has [three key terms] given us life, sustained us, and allowed us to reach this time.
[Transliteration/pronouncer of three key words: ...shehehcheYAnu, v'keeyeMAnu, v'heegeYAnu lazman hazeh.]
My father considered his father's action significant. Decades later at our family Seders my father would pause and stress the importance of those three terms in that blessing.
In Seders now for our family, each year I stress the significance of those words and I will do so again this year.
To me, that gratitude is very personal...but I also believe it's universal. All of us have reason daily to be grateful that we are here to meet this day. With warm wishes,
s/ Bill Pearl, publisher
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