Il n'est point de bonheur sans liberté, ni de liberté sans courage - Périclès
Dear Friends, dear Partners,
As you may know, the Matanel Foundation is more an Incubator than a classical Foundation with a strict policy. We are constantly on the lookout for good ideas to be carried out and implemented by men and women of valour dedicated to building a better society. We do not meddle in the projects, we enter into moral contract with our partners; God gives seed money through our channel, you give your skills, your love, your faith and sometimes dedicate your life. We can only bless you for the opportunity to contribute together to free ever more people by helping them materially and or spiritually.
During this adventure, which has been ongoing for almost twelve years, we have met many dedicated persons who have enriched us by their inspiring advice as well as their lifetime achievements. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (Even Israel) is one of them. Today, thanks to the anthology – Nativ la-Talmud – established on the basis of his monumental work, ever more Mechinot are discovering theTalmudic way of thinking. You can get till 30 books for your classes by ordering them from: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to share with you the thoughts of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis from Great Britain on what we may call the glory to educate according to the teachings of Passover. His office is running new programs for the elderly as well as the youngsters, for women as well as for men.
We look forward to meeting you at the next Matanel Retreat which will take place on June 21st 2018. If you have not yet received an invitation, please let us know.
May Pessach bring you the taste of freedom and self-liberation from all that hampers your dreams.
With our warm wishes for a meaningful Pessach,
Joëlle & Gad
From Chanukah to Pesach
We have a fascinating family custom: at the Pesach Seder our family sings the words of the passage known as ‘Chasal Siddur Pesach’ to the tune of Chanukah’s Maoz Tzur.
This has prompted me to consider what the festivals of Pesach and Chanukah have in common. Of course, both celebrate the miraculous intervention of the Almighty to save our people and both are eight days long in the Diaspora. Interestingly, if necessary, Jewish law requires one to sell one’s clothing or receive tzedakah in order to purchase candles for the Chanukiah. This is strikingly similar to Pesach, when one is required to sell one’s clothing or receive tzedakah in order to buy wine for the required four cups. There was also a fascinating and beautiful custom among the Jews of Izmir in Turkey to use their leftover oil from the previous Chanukah to light a small oil lamp, which they used for Bedikat Chametz, the search for chametz, on the night before Pesach.
Yet, the most substantive, thematic connection between Chanukah and Pesach is the centrality of education as a Jewish value. Both festivals lead us to appreciate the crucial importance of learning in our tradition; a lesson encapsulated by our Sages, who declared, Vetalmud Torah Keneged Kulam – the study of Torah supersedes all (Mishnah Pe’ah 1).
The Hebrew word Chanukah (dedication) comes from the same root as chinuch (education). Indeed, dedication to education is a key feature of the Chanukah narrative. The survival of our spiritual legacy, despite the intentions of the Hellenists, was rooted in our commitment to teaching Torah and its values.
The primary purpose of the Pesach seder is education – “And you shall relate to your child on that day saying, “It is because of this that the Almighty performed these miracles for me when I left Egypt” (Shemot 13:8). But, more than that, the Pesach seder itself sets out the ideal framework for the most impactful education – an audio-visual, experiential encounter which utilises storytelling, questioning and a veritable assault on our senses to ensure that the experience is an unforgettable treat. It is no accident that of all our traditions, the seder night remains the most widely observed, even in families who would otherwise consider themselves entirely secular. Research has shown that more Jews attend a Pesach seder every year than those who fast on Yom Kippur. Pesach teaches us what the best teachers already know – that the most effective education must be experiential.
Whatever the setting; formal or informal, at school or at home, may this Pesach present an opportunity for us to refocus on a truism of Jewish life – the greatest key to a successful Jewish future is quality Jewish education.
I wish you a chag kasher ve sameach.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Passover Eve 5778