Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moadim le'Simcha


The first Pessach holiday is over. At least in Israel.
Great sunny weather enables us doing to trips. The beach in Tel Aviv was already packed today.

Although I originally had other plans, I eventually decided spending the Seder with Chabad in Tel Aviv's posh Ramat Aviv. There, Chabad is not that posh but, nevertheless, has started a Synagogue and a small Yeshiva in the same building. The secular neighbours are not too exited about facing the Chabadnikim in the area. There have been complaints about Chabadnikim standing in front of schools and asking secular students to put on Tefillin. Whoever knows Tel Aviv wealthy northern parts is pretty aware of how the secular react when they see a Haredi walking around: A Haredi living in the neighbourhood may bring others and turn the area into a new "Mea Shearim".

I took the last local bus from cdowntown Tel Aviv to the northern neighbourhood Ramat Aviv and arrived far too early at Chabad. However, I helped them setting up the tables for the Seder. It rather reminded me of Sukkot because we were setting up tables outside. About 80 people were expected to come. The Chabad Yeshiva guys were having their Seder inside the Yeshiva.
I didn't know that the Chabadnikim in Ramat Aviv are "Meshichistim" (those who believe that the last Lubavitcher Rebbe is the Meshiach). It turned out they are and even the curtain on the Aron HaKodesh (Torah shrine) had a "Yichi Adonenu …" header.

Remark: "Yichi Adonenu Morenu veRabbenu Melech HaMeshiach Le'Olam vaEd". A Meshiach saying originally introduced by the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson z"l himself.

Today "Yichi Adonenu" is mainly used by the Meshichistim and they even scream it during their prayer service. So they did lat night during Maariv (evening prayer).

As I said, the Seder was outside. It was chilly but nice. Most participants were secular Israelis from the neighbourhood. Although Chabad has been criticized, last night the Chabadnikim helped a lot of lonely Jews celebrating a nice Seder. Nevertheless, there were complaints because the Rabbi leading the Seder took his time. Too long and with too many breaks in between. Some people got bored and started munching their Mazzot. I have to admit that I also left earlier. At 12.30am when the chicken came out. I had a long walk back to Tel Aviv and it took me 1,5 hours to finally get into bed.


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