The Ladino phrase at this time of year is Purim Purim Lanu Pesah En La Manu - Purim is already here, Pesah can’t be far behind. Well actually, Purim is already in our rearview mirror and our etchos de Pesah – our preparations for Passover are well underway. While many of us might be thinking about recipes and turning the kitchen over or getting everything done before going away for Pesah, there is so much richness in our liturgy at this time of year to prepare for too.
Preparing for the Agadah – telling the story of Yetziat Mitzrayim – the going out of Egypt during the Seder, by chanting it in Hebrew, Ladino and English gives so much richness to our tradition. I think there is something in our DNA to be planners and yet at the same time enjoy the rush at the last minute. At this time of year I’m thinking how we can best have the most meaningful Pesah Seders. One sure plan for success is to start giving out the seder parts. Please note all the recordings are on the SBH website under the Hazzanut and Recordings Tab, learn from Rabbi Varon, Mo Azose and David Maimon.
Additionally, in kal we have some great liturgy to prepare for between Pesah and Shavuot. On Friday nights we have Shir HaShirim – Song of Songs composed by King Solomon. A love story of God for the Jewish people told through a metaphor of a man’s love for a woman. Each chapter is also on the SBH website thanks to recordings by David Maimon. We also have Prikei Avot chanted in Ladino on Shabbat afternoons.
On Shavuot we have a couple more Ladino opportunities. We have Ketubah de la Ley – which is ladino for a marriage contract between the Jewish People and God when we received the Torah at Shavuot. We have Megilat Rut which can be sung in Ladino or Hebrew or both. Finally, we have the Azharot at the end of Shavuot where we sing the 613 Mitzvot in rhyme. These are all the opportunities for participation in kal from the youngest boys through to the oldest men. If you’d like a part, please chat with me or with our beloved Gabbai, Larry Almo