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Purim’s Over, Now Onto Passover…

I am writing this on the day after Purim.  What a fun, eventful, and busy weekend we had at Midbar Kodesh Temple, but now we immediately shift to Pesach, Passover.  We have thirty days to get ready, and there is much to do.  One of the ways I get ready for Passover is to start studying a Mesechet or tractate of the Talmud to aid in the tradition of Siyyum Bechorim. Today, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the significance of this tradition.

Siyyum Bechorim, meaning "Completion of the Firstborns," is an ancient Jewish custom that holds great meaning and relevance for us today. This tradition stems from the biblical account of the tenth plague in Egypt, where the firstborn sons of the Egyptians were tragically taken while the Israelites were spared.

In commemoration of this event, Jewish law dictates that firstborns, both human and animal, must fast on the day before Passover. However, there is a beautiful and meaningful way to exempt oneself from this fast, and that is by participating in a Siyyum Bechorim.

During a Siyyum Bechorim, a group of firstborn individuals gather together to study a section of Jewish text, usually the completion of a Jewish tractate or book of the Torah. By engaging in this study, participants are symbolically demonstrating their commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, spiritual growth, and the preservation of our sacred traditions.  A siyyum is accompanied by a feast to celebrate and those that were supposed to fast can join in the meal.

Today, the Siyyum Bechorim holds profound relevance for us. In a world filled with distractions and challenges, it is easy to lose sight of the importance of continuous learning and personal growth. The Siyyum Bechorim reminds us that the pursuit of wisdom and understanding is a lifelong journey that requires dedication and effort.


This past Monday I started studying Mesechet Beitzah which focus on the general laws related to Yom Tov or Holidays.  I look forward to sharing some words of Torah to complete the study of the tractate on Monday morning April 22, 2024 at the end of minyan which begins at 7:30 AM.  We will have a light celebratory meal immediately following. 


Shabbat Shalom


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