Tag Archives: Music

Stuck in Mitzrayim looking at an exodus out of slavery

Today’s guest-speaker looking at Psalm 37 knows that there are times in our lives when we are called to speak up and let our voices be heard, but also times to be silent.

The psalms of David may sound great in our ears and get us carried away in service showing our love for God with exuberance. There may be deep darkness in our world, but we lightening candles hear that music that has the power to awaken the light.

“I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people; I will sing unto Thee among the nations.” (Psalms 57:9 KJ21)

Today’s rabbi writes

Music has the power to bring people together, singing in harmony, but the music of much of the Middle East these days is not an inviting melody.

Thomas Fuller

17th century British scholar, preacher Thomas Fuller

An old proverb of uncertain origin goes, it’s always darkest before the dawn. A version of this first appeared in print in 1640 in a travelogue by the English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller entitled, A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof.

How sad that he wrote this when traveling through Israel; and that more than 370 years later, the dark clouds still loom over much of the region. {Psalm 57}

Therefore in these darker days of the time coming closer to the end times, we should shed the light and show others which great event and which hope we are remembering the coming days.

Now we have come to a time to thank God and to sing for Him. A time to show our thankfulness that he liberated His chosen people and was willing to provide a marvellous future, a Kingdom to come, with a Holy Land where there shall be no slavery any more to whatsoever and where there shall be peace.

Today’s guest-speaker knows

A Seder table setting

A Seder table setting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that there are Jews who do not have a Seder or celebrate Passover by putting away the bread and cereal and other leavened grain products for eight days in favor of matza. No matter what you do for Passover, I encourage you to take the holiday experience, especially the Seder, seriously. {Divre Harav/Words from the Rabbi – April, 2015}

It is a period we may not let pass unnoticed. The Divine Creator demanded it to be a special time until the eternity.

The critical element of the Passover Experience is not the elaborate food eaten for dinner at the Seder, but rather the thought that goes into preparing food without leavening and the symbolism behind it. One common take on hametz, leavening, is that it symbolizes the ego. The opposite of hametz, matza, symbolizes humility. Passover can be seen as an exercise in reducing the ego and developing a humble attitude towards caring for others.

The critical element of the Seder is not the brisket or the matza ball soup, but rather the retelling of the story of the Exodus, with the focus on how that story moves us to see and address oppression in the world around us. {Divre Harav/Words from the Rabbi – April, 2015}

Now has the time come to stand still by those old stories of men and women who had to work hard and did not see any way out of slavery. Time to wonder how are relation with God is and if there are no sins hindering or to impede a good relationship. Today there are still many forms of slavery going on. But we should know that the Elohim promised a Messiah and that always all promises of god become a reality.

We should trust the Most High and study the Torah, letting us inspire and build up our personality.

Perhaps at the proper candle-lighting time, before candle-lighting doing the 4 questions and 4 children and singing songs, you too may tell the story of Pesah in a very abbreviated way.

In keeping with the mishnah’s instructions to tell the story from degradation to redemption, we basically tell the story by reading the key passages of the Hagaddah from Deuteronomy 26:5-8, reciting the plagues, the teaching of Rabban Gamliel and the beginning of Hallel. {Divre Harav/Words from the Rabbi – April, 2015}

It is a moment to be humble and to share the many goods we have with others. Time to put ourselves aside, to think about God’s people and to give praise to the Most High.

When we do feel lonely and blocked in this material world, where we see so many slave to material goods and to money delivering jobs, we can think of the capital Mitzrayim.

The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim, a word that connotes narrow places  (probably taking its name from the fact that the fertile part of Egypt is a narrow strip of land on either side of the Nile).  In a metaphorical sense, when we are stuck in Mitzrayim, we are living our lives in a constricted place. We are stuck inside a narrow box.  Pesah is the time to look at the narrow box in which we are living, look at those behaviors which keep us stuck in a rut, and free ourselves. {Stuck in a Rut? Pesah Tells You to Get Unstuck!}

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Preceding articles

Seven lights or basic emotions

How to Live Beyond the Ordinary

Psalm 37 Humble inheriting the earth

Thoughts on Passover

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What is important?

Mary Ann Niemczura, born in Massachusetts, reared in Colorado and now living in Upstate New York, looks at three things which she finds  important to her and were she grow up in Massachusetts and in Colorado: Family, Faith, and Education.

In this world were morals, ethics and values are gone it is not bad to stand still for a moment and to wonder what made us unto what we are today.

Let us never forget those who are behind our making process, our parents, teachers, guides, and all the material which came under our eyes (books, theatre pieces, films, artefacts, …)

Like me she grew up in a time when education was still valued and probably the teachers still respected. At a new years dinner for municipal staff I was questioned about the use of musical education and playing an instrument. In the past that was considered as an asset and helpful to have the brains growing in a good way. The gift of music and diligent practice are very much helping the brain to develop so that there is gain on different fronts for other schoolsubjects as well as analytic and creative thinking.  The author has good reason to

belief that children who play a musical instrument including voice have a better chance of success in school.  They learn to listen and to read as well as to memorize more quickly.

Also the religious upbringing may help to create a decent personality which is respectful to nature and all those living on this globe. Learning from the Holy Scriptures not only gives a good formation for our relationships with others, it also shall make us a better person, not only believing in the Creator but also believing in the self, which shall give more confidence to tackle certain tasks and to withstand certain counteraction or thwart.

To have hope for the future we have to work at it that others also come to understand the reasons why we should have certain values, cherish and nourish certain morals. Like in previous times it is still important to be involved with those around us, to read to the children, to give ethical and/or religious education and to practice faith with those who are near to us. Parents and educators do have to send a very clear message that education should be at the top of the list after family and faith.

Then we might have fewer morally bankrupt persons in society.

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Additional reading

  1. Too many pupils for not enough teachers
  2. A learning process for each of us
  3. Passion and burn out of a teacher

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Dr. Mary Ann Niemczura

Three things are important to me and were growing up in Massachusetts and in Colorado.

Family-we had the luxury of a stay at home mom which I believe made all the difference in growing up.  We did not have babysitters come in.  My parents were simply always there for all of us children.  These were simpler times in the 40s and 50s when families made do with less.  I remember my parents growing most of the fruits and vegetables we needed.  My mother canned a lot for the winter months.  We kept potatoes in cold storage in the basement in Massachusetts.  We were happy and well fed.  Our mother sewed most of our clothes as well.  We knew we were well loved.

Faith-we attended church regularly which formed a strong foundation for our character and beliefs. We participated in religious education at church as well.  Parents who give…

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Filed under Cultural affairs, Educational affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs