One of the days that our country has set aside to be special. To be meaningful.
A day to reflect on what we stand for.
And to remember those that gave their lives to defend our values.
… Memorial Day is less than 200 years old.
And I think it’s safe to say that it’s not working very well.
There are certainly sensitive people that make it a meaningful day.
But for the most part, what comes to mind on Memorial Day?
And barbecues. And long weekends.
They’re all fine. But not what the day is supposed to be all about.
… The Jewish People also have special days.
Like Passover. A day to reflect on our history. To remember the Exodus from Egypt.
It’s been over 3000 years!
And there’s hardly a Jewish family that doesn’t have a Seder.
What’s our secret?
While is the Seder still around?
And why are we still around?
… The answer is Jewish ritual!
If the Torah would have just said, “Remember the Exodus”?
There would be no Seder today. And there would be no Jewish People!
Jewish ritual is what preserved our memory.
The piece of Matzah. Telling the story. Reliving it.
Ritual reminds us who we are. And what we stand for.
… One of the most powerful Jewish rituals?
Just about every American Jew that goes back two or three generations?
Finds a Bubby.
(Grandmother is a very poor translation!)
A Bubby that kept Kosher.
And then you go straight back to Mount Sinai.
3000 years of keeping Kosher!
A constant reminder of who we are!
… Kosher is in these days.
Close to a third of the products in our supermarkets have Kosher certification.
And Jewel has opened huge Kosher departments in Skokie, Evanston and Highland Park.
… The Soviet Union spent 70 years trying to destroy Judaism.
Keeping Kosher could have landed you in Siberia!
And it is now known as the “Former Soviet Union”!
In recent years?
The Kremlin’s kitchen was made Kosher in honor of the Prime minister of Israel.
And one of the latest places to have a supermarket with a Kosher section?
Have a great Shabbos,