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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Chutzpah Time

Chutzpah Time

Photo Credit: Louis Fisher/Flash90

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The Israelites were ordered to get a lamb, each one of them, as God put it, speaking to Moses:

Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. (Exodus 12:3-7)

Many commentators point out that the time of Passover, on or after the Spring equinox (this year it is precisely on March 20, at 11:02 AM) – the time of Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. Aries, the Ram, is at its fullest power at this time. And Aeries, like the Egyptians, had to watch helplessly as the Hebrew slaves insolently collected the little lambs, kept them tied up in full view, and slaughtered them.

The Egyptians, we’re taught, were vegetarians. Have you encountered vegetarian rage? Can you imagine slaughtering a cow in downtown New Delhi? It should give you an idea of the degree of insolence our Hebrew ancestors were commanded to display back in Egypt.

That’s how slaves are liberated – by making a mockery of their masters.

They—and we—were also commanded to roast the complete lamb on a spit, again, in full view of the masters.

I’d like to think that our very existence here, in Israel, in full view of all of Europe and the Middle Eastern countries, our most recent masters, is an expression of the same holy insolence.

Yes, in this context, Lamb is a four letter word.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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