Passover Lessons

Rabbi Benjamin Blech: The Five Most Important Things to Know About Passover

Scholars have long wondered why Jews who number less than one quarter of one percent of the world—as Milton Himmelfarb memorably put it, “The total population of the Jewish people is less than a statistical error in the annual birth rate of the Chinese people” – have had such a profound influence on almost every field of human endeavor.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech
Rabbi Benjamin Blech, YU professor of Talmud

What accounts for the remarkable fact that in the 20th century, Jews, more than any other minority, have been recipients of the Nobel Prize, with almost one-fifth of all Nobel laureates being Jewish?

Perhaps it all goes back to the very beginning of the birth of our people and the Passover holiday that we will shortly be celebrating.

Passover conveys five major concepts that became our mantras for how to lead successful and productive lives. They are the five most important things to know about Passover, and to incorporate into every day of the rest of the year. Because we’ve absorbed them into our national psyche for the thousands of years since the Exodus, we’ve been privileged to fulfill in great measure our prophetically mandated role to become a light unto the nations.

They are our greatest contributions to the world and can be summarized in five words: memory, optimism, faith, family and responsibility.

The Importance of Memory

The Irish Catholic writer Thomas Cahill was so overwhelmed by how the Jewish people literally transformed the world that he authored what proved to become an international bestseller, The Gifts of the Jews. One of the major gifts he credits to Jewish genius is the invention of the idea of history.

“Remember that you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” “Remember that the Lord took you out of the bondage of slavery.” Remember is a biblical mandate that had never seemed important to anyone else before the Jewish people came on the scene. It was the Passover story that initiated a commitment to memory.

Henry Ford was famous for his belief that “history is bunk.” The Ford motor company is also famous for producing the Edsel. And both were probably equally stupid blunders. History is the only way we can learn from the past. History allows us to grow by standing on the shoulders of giants. Make a mistake once, and you’re human. Never learn from what happened before, and you’re brainless. That’s why it’s so important to heed the famous words of George Santayana that “Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.” Read full article at aish.com

Rabbi Benjamin Blech is Professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University and the Rabbi Emeritus of Young Israel of Oceanside. He is the author of 12 highly acclaimed books, including Understanding Judaism: The basics of Deed and Creed, If God is Good, Why is the World So Bad? and the international best-seller, The Sistine Secrets. The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to Yeshiva University.

27 comments

Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

I simply want to mention I’m new to weblog and certainly savored your page. Almost certainly I’m likely to bookmark your website . You certainly come with amazing article content. Bless you for sharing with us your web page.

I simply want to say I’m very new to blogs and truly enjoyed this web-site. Probably I’m going to bookmark your blog . You actually have fabulous articles. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your webpage.

I just want to mention I’m new to weblog and seriously liked you’re blog site. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You absolutely have exceptional articles and reviews. Regards for sharing with us your web page.

I simply want to say I am newbie to blogs and truly loved your web page. Very likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have amazing stories. Thanks a lot for revealing your website page.

I simply want to say I am new to blogging and site-building and definitely loved your web page. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You surely come with awesome articles. Appreciate it for sharing your blog.

I simply want to tell you that I’m very new to weblog and actually savored this web blog. Likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You really come with incredible well written articles. Cheers for sharing your blog.

I just want to say I am new to blogging and site-building and really enjoyed this page. More than likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You amazingly have really good article content. Thanks for sharing your website page.

I simply want to say I am just all new to blogging and actually savored you’re web site. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You absolutely have incredible well written articles. Bless you for sharing your blog site.

I just want to tell you that I am just beginner to blogging and truly enjoyed your web-site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your site . You certainly have incredible stories. Thank you for sharing your website page.

I just want to say I am new to weblog and truly loved this web page. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You actually come with wonderful posts. Cheers for sharing your website.

I just want to mention I am just new to blogging and site-building and actually savored this blog. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You definitely come with perfect articles. Thanks a bunch for sharing your blog site.

I simply want to mention I am just all new to blogs and absolutely loved you’re website. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You really have superb articles. Thanks a bunch for sharing your web-site.

I just want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogs and certainly loved this web page. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You certainly have remarkable well written articles. Appreciate it for sharing with us your website page.

I simply want to tell you that I am all new to blogging and site-building and really savored you’re website. Almost certainly I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You definitely come with perfect stories. Thanks a bunch for revealing your website page.

I just want to say I am just very new to blogging and site-building and really enjoyed your blog site. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You actually come with remarkable well written articles. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your blog site.

I simply want to mention I’m newbie to weblog and certainly savored your web blog. Likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have incredible articles and reviews. Many thanks for sharing your web site.

I just want to tell you that I’m newbie to blogs and seriously liked this web site. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your site . You really come with tremendous posts. Thanks a bunch for sharing your website.

I just want to tell you that I am newbie to blogs and certainly liked this web blog. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You definitely come with great articles. Thank you for sharing with us your blog.

I just want to tell you that I am beginner to blogs and absolutely savored you’re web blog. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your website . You surely come with perfect article content. Kudos for revealing your blog site.

I simply want to mention I am all new to blogging and certainly liked you’re website. Almost certainly I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You actually come with superb posts. Thank you for sharing your blog.

I just want to mention I’m beginner to weblog and seriously enjoyed your web-site. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You certainly have beneficial articles and reviews. Thank you for sharing with us your website.

Leave a Reply