Pesach as everyone knows is almost upon us. After Pesach is the period of Sefirat Haomer, when the custom is to refrain from live music till Lag Baomer to commemorate the passing of the students of the great sage Rabbi Akiva. Till then, there won't be any new postings. I was only sent one email last week about a concert for Chol Hamoed Pesach, so I am posting it now. Please read the words of Torah at the end of the email I read from my good friend Eitan Katz:
Monday night April 13th:
An evening featuring the beautiful music of Shlomo Carlebach
With C. Lanzbom and Noah Solomon of Soulfarm
When: 8:00 PM
Where: 37 Sherwood Ridge Rd. Pamona, NY
Please only bring food that is Kosher for Passover
Here are the words of Torah from Eitan Katz:
As Pesach is approaching, I wanted to share with you a beautiful idea which connects Yetzias Mitzrayim to the power of music. In Likutey Torah on Pesach, the Ba'al Hatanya writes that the Yetzias Mitzrayim which took place thousands of years ago still takes place every day within the heart of every Jew. Mitzrayim comes from the word Meitzar, narrow, rigid, boundaries. When Klal Yisroel left Mitzrayim they did not only leave the physical boundaries of the land of Egypt but also broke through the mental and spiritual boundaries which Mitzrayim so tightly kept around them. Every day, The Ba'al Hatanya writes, a Jew has the power to leave his own boundaries. I know for myself, and for sure many people can relate to this, that in this crazy world, we feel like we are in our own spiritual jail, not being able to serve Hashem the way we want to. Pesach is a reminder for us that just like there was a Yetzias Mitzrayim a long time ago, the same Yetzias Mitzrayim- the leap out of one's boundaries, can be done today. And here is where the connection to music comes. The Ba'al Hatanya writes that because the first Yetzias Mitzrayim was eternal, we can look at the way they had acted then during the process of leaving, and apply it to our life right now. The first act which Klal Yisroel did as a "free" nation was
SING!!! After they crossed the sea, looked back and saw that the nightmare was over and that Hashem had taken them out completely form mitzrayim, they sang Shiras Hayam. This wasn't a coincidence, the Ba'al Hatanya writes. The natural expression of someone that has just reached beyond their natural boundaries is singing. Why? Because when one sings, that is also an expression of leaving one's boundaries. How many times have we sat around the shabbos table, or at an uplifting concert or kumzitz, where we felt that singing just takes us to places where we never have been before. When we sing real Jewish melodies, the feeling should be that we are reaching beyond the places where we thought we couldn't reach.
Wishing everyone a meaningful and inspiring Pesach.
Best, Wishes, Yisroel