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Parshas Metzorah

Shabbos Hagadol

April 19 - 20, 2024

12 Nisan - 5784

Shalom and hello everyone! I hope you are doing well. 

Please join me for a special Drasha Shabbos morning: “Thoughts of Celebrating Pesach in Times of War: Plus Novel Haggadah Gems.”


What should we be thinking this year when Israel is at war and (seemingly) the whole world turned against the Jewish People? 


How can we sit like royalty during the Seder when our brothers and sisters are held captive by a vicious enemy? 


How do we reconcile the Haggadic concept of Cheirus, Freedom, and the recent shocking attack and bombardment by Iran? 

Join me for our annual award-winning Shabbos Hagadol Drasha as we attempt to answer these questions and put in “Passover perspective” the recent unsettling developments confronting our People.  

I am pleased to welcome guest Baal Koreh David Neikrug to Ohav Sholom this Shabbos. Come and hear his excellent rendition of parshas metzorah. 


Thanks to an anonymous donor, we continue to mark the yahrzeit this past week of our beloved Gabbai, Danny Lieberman, z”l, with yet another great BREADBERRY washing, sit down kiddush/luncheon! 


Enjoy a full chometz gala hot kiddush featuring cholent and kishka, overnight potato kugel, stuffed cabbage, crispy chicken fingers, Sushi, mini egg rolls, fruit platter, cake, and more!

Our Friday Night Communal Shabbos Hagadol Dinner catered by BREADBERRY is SOLD OUT! 


We look forward to an outstanding waiter served seudah featuring zemiros, Divrei Torah from guest speaker Dr. Robbie Burk, sparkling conversation, good friends, and more!

Please remember to sell your chometz (see form below and also available in shul) and generously donate to our Maos Chittim Fund, to be sent to Israel for immediate distribution. 


Donations can be made online at or hand delivered to me in shul. Tiskel l’mitzvos!

If you are a first-born male or have a first-born male minor child, you must FAST on Monday, erev Pesach. I will be making a siyum mesechta (it’s for you dahling, I’m the youngest in my family) to allow the firstborn to participate in a seudas mitzvah and eat erev yontiv. 


See the schedule below for dates and times. 

Turning our attention to yontiv, I (tepidly) welcome two sons-in-law, Yedid Herskovitz, (of Elon Musk and Egyptian Artifacts Historian fame) and Nosson Stein, (of Cousin Vinny fame) who will lead us in spirited and melodious davening these first days of yontiv. 


I am pleased to announce that we will have a modest but delicious Kosher for Passover Kiddush in Shul each yontiv day, immediately after shacharis. Potato starch never tasted so good. 

Also note that right after Pesach, we will transition to EARLY SHABBOS on Friday nights due to the lateness of the day. See the calendar below for more details. 


Reminder to light Shabbos candles after our ‘early mincha’ to ensure candle lighting is performed after the “plag hamincha,” the earliest time one can start Shabbos. 


A Torah Thought From the Chumash Shiur of

Rav Dovid Feinstein zt"l.

(As heard and adapted by Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman)

Haggadah Part 2 

עֲבָדִים הָיִינוּ לְפַרְעֹה בְּמִצְרָיִם

“We were slaves to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt”

What is the emphasis here on the words, “In the land of Egypt?” Is this not obvious?

We must understand what transpired to our ancestors in mitzrayim. 

Our forefathers experienced a shocking metamorphosis - from dizzying heights of success into a spiraling descent of poverty and slavery - and exposure to a culture of idols and paganism. 

We observe how Jews in Egypt attained positions of great authority and power. 

The early years of Mitzrayim were the golden age of Jewish national development, affording the Jewish people wealth, influence, and prosperity. 

The ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic - rife with the rituals and beliefs associated with multiple pagan images and gods.  

Over time, the Jewish Nation became deeply affected by the creeping influence of an idolatrous Pharaoh, powerfully controlling Egyptians in politically high places, and a state-sponsored atmosphere of paganistic practices. 

The Haggadah intones, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt!” It was the spiritual climate and culture of Egypt itself that cemented the Jewish fate. 

In a drastic countermeasure, Hashem caused the Egyptians to hate the Jewish People - an all too  familiar pattern we see repeated throughout our history, in a desperate attempt to mentally wean the Jews away from an Egyptian avodah zorah influence. 

We may also note how the Ten Plagues served as a divine instrument intended to positively separate the Jewish people from the Egyptians - in a purely physical sense. 

בְּיָד חֲזָקָה

Ultimately, the Haggadah records, that the Jewish People were saved by G-d’s strong hand. 

The ‘strong hand’ references Hashem's unique ability to destroy the Egyptians and spare the Jewish People simultaneously, within the same “space.”

Only the ‘strong arm’ of the Almighty can accomplish these two seemingly opposite forces of nature at the same time.  

Additionally, Hashem’s “strong hand” served as a counterclaim to those who argued the Jewish Nation was similarly guilty of idolatrous behavior as the Egyptians and were undeserving of redemption. 

The strong hand of G-d signaled that the Jewish People were worthy and merited the redemptive power of His strong hand.  

We observe how the “Yad Chazaka” was the critical instrument and perfect divine mechanism powerful enough to protect and preserve the Jewish Nation then and for eternity! 


Have a wonderful shabbos and Yom Tov!


I’ll see you in shul, 


Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman

Erev Shabbos Hagadol Parshas Metzorah 5784

Shabbos Timetable

Friday, Erev Shabbos Kodesh 

Daf Yomi: 6:45 AM

Shacharis: 7:25 AM

Candle Lighting 7:22 PM

Mincha/KS: 7:30 PM

Gala Dinner: 8:15 PM

Saturday, Shabbos Kodesh

Shacharis: 9:00 AM

Drasha: 10:30 AM

Gala Kiddush: 11:15 AM

Mincha: 7:10 PM

Daf Yomi

Maariv/Havdala: 8:25 PM

Click HERE to download Chometz Sale Authorization form

Congregation Ohav Sholom (212) 877-5850