Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach, 7th & 8th days of Pesach

My last boss at DuPont told me he had been president of a Jewish fraternity in college, even though he wasn’t Jewish.  However, he didn’t realize that Pesach lasts more than the first two days.  No, I don’t know the name of the fraternity.  I have run into that misconception a lot, so, one more time:  Passover (Pesach) lasts 8 days, 7 if you’re Reform.  The dietary restrictions are in place the whole time.

The Sabbath in the middle of Pesach (i.e., not the 1st, 2nd, 7th, or 8th day) is called Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach and it has its own Torah and haftarah readings, as do the 7th and 8th days.  Here is your crib sheet:

April 15, Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach Exodus 33:12 – 34:26   Moses sees the back of God then carves 2 more tablets. Renewal of covenant. Brief texts re:  Sabbath, holidays, boiling a kid in its mother’s milk. Num. 28:19-25   Holiday sacrifices. Same as first 2 days minus v. 16-18. Ezekiel 36:37 – 37:14 [or 37:1-14]

Valley of the dry bones vision. Resurrection imagery.

April 17, 7th day Pesach Exodus 13:17-15:26  The splitting of the Re(e)d Sea, the Song at the Sea. Num. 28:19-25   Ditto II Samuel 22:1-51  David’s song of thanks for rescue from Saul et al.  Also the Haftarah for Ha’azinu in the fall.  Contains Psalm 18.
April 18, 8th day Pesach Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17   Consecration of first born. Holidays: Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot. Num. 28:19-25   Double ditto Isaiah 10:32 – 12:6   Messianic vision, which we’ve been leading up to since Shabbat Shekalim.

You see how the content of the readings progresses from the first Passover and the Exodus through the splitting of the sea up to the messianic age. 

There is a lot of singing: the Song at the Sea and a song of thanks on the 7th day and, this Shabbat, the Song of Songs (Shir Hashirim), also known as the Song of Solomon.  This time of year, whenever we get two nice days in a row, I always think of Chapter 2, verses 11-12:

11For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtle*
Is heard in our land.

*Turtle is an archaic word for turtledove.

Yes, that translation is from one of the King James versions.  I like how it scans as poetry.  I also have a modern translation, The Song of Songs: A New Translation by Ariel Bloch and Chana Bloch (paperback), which captures both the poetry and the lyrical eroticism.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

Shabbat shalom and Pesach sameach,




A bio-research institute in Israel is developing plans for cloning sheep.

“When the Holy Temple is rebuilt, there will suddenly be a tremendous demand for blemish-free lambs to use for the different sacrifices on the festivals, the Korban Hagigah, the Korban Shelamim, and of course, on Passover, the Korban Pesach (Passover sacrifice)”, explained its director. “We will be able to meet that demand by cloning. Each lamb thus produced will be known as a…

Korban Copy”.

[Submitted by Zev Stein]


tph skeleton


From 2014:  [dead link]
Top Ten Signs you are at a DOCTOR’S SEDER
10. Family favorite jingle: “And the shank bone’s connected to the…”

9. His kittel is his usual lab coat
8. Considers the plague of Blood more of a windfall for the Red Cross 
7. Promotes leaning to prevent choking. Shortly thereafter, chokes on marror.
6. Prescribes extra hot marror for sinus decongestion 
5. Wonders how an outbreak of Ebola wasn’t rampant after plague of blood/frogs
4. Takes at least 3 emergency calls in the kitchen during maggid
3. Freely warns neighbors before eating matzo of pending constipation
2. D’var torah revolves around the week of Darkness impact on retinal sensory
1. Favorite Seder Pastime: Plague Victim Triage


tph goldfish bowl


Quotes about Singing

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  ~Chinese Proverb

I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.  ~William James

It was his nature to blossom into song, as it is a tree’s to leaf itself in April.  ~Alexander Smith

You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.  ~Author Unknown


The Lion and the Lamb

A group of interfaith religious leaders were getting a tour around the Jerusalem Zoo by its administrator, Shmuel Shapira. Shmuel showed them one cage where a lion was lying together with a young lamb.

The head of the delegation was amazed. “For 2000 years, we’ve prayed for signs of the messianic era and the prophesy that the lion will lie down next to the lamb. How did you do it?”

“It was quite easy,” Shmuel replied, “All it needs is a new lamb a day!”


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