Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile
17 Nisan, 5765   April 26, 2005

Passover BC 

Taming the tongue

while renewing the Covenant 

May 5765 be the year that the children of Joseph learn to tame their tongues!"  Maggid ben Yoseif declared at the close of a second Passover Seder attended by both Jews and Joes.

In biblical times, the Passover was central to the faith of both the House of Judah and the Ten Tribes, MbY explained. "The holy words of the Haggadah, (the telling of the story) spoken in a precise order within an intimate circle of extended family and friends on a specific holy occasion served to correct and keep in check the lashon hara (evil tongue)."

The sages of Torah believe Israel remembers the punishment of Egypt with its every mention and the mention of "pharoah," the title of Egypt's ruler. "This is because Mitzrayim, (Heb. for Egypt, is a land of metzorim or those afflicted with tzara'as in the Bible because of some evil use of the tongue. Pharoah in Heb. is literally "mouth of evil," MbY said.  Moses came to the leaders of Israel with the code words Joseph left his brothers and a sign that their tzara'as (leprosy from the tongue) had been healed. Thus they accepted him and knew he was their deliverer and it was time for their deliverance.

Every man, woman and child of Israel should call to mind the cause of exile near the start of the Seder when they dip karpas into salt water. In modern Hebrew, karpas is parsley, but in Esther 1:6, karpas is defined as something made of  "pas" or "fine wool."  The special tunic Jacob made for Joseph, is made from "pas." So the bitterness of Egypt -- represented by the salt water -- has come around because of the conspiracy by Joseph's brothers to falsify his death and deceive their father. For their wrong to come to light or be righted, Jacob and his family was also decreed exile. Joseph's brothers dipped his garment of "pas" in blood and agreed to fabricate a hoax to Jacob that Joseph had been gored to death and eaten. Similarly, the salt water of today's persecutions of the House of Judah, may have some link to denying that Joseph is still alive. If anyone suffers from this delusion, please read our on-line pamphlet, Od Yoseif Chai (Joseph is still Alive) at this website.

At the same time, Joes instructed by the Spirit of Hashem (Hashem is the Hebrew transliteration of "the Name" representing the various permutations of the syllables Y, H and W since no one is sure of the correct order or pronunciation of this holy -- set apart -- name) in the spirit of reconciliation with Judah, will recognize Joseph's shortcomings and since he was the only tzadik among the sons of Jacob, that he eventually overcame them.  "Before his exile," MbY said, "Joseph behaved as a na'ar  who brought evil reports with his tongue and discriminated against the tribes born from Bilhah and Zilpah. The Oral Tradition also makes him a party to the same agreement to deceive Jacob, by agreeing not to contact his father if he were allowed to live and sold into slavery instead. While the means was extreme, his brothers were within their rights to rid the household of one who disturbed its peace.

"Both of the families of Jacob are guilty and therefore both need to drink the Four Cups of the Seder in the seder (order) they are spelled out in Exodus 6:6-8.  If both do so in the spirit of appreciation to Hashem, both will see differences begin to melt away.

First, we drink to Hashem for rescuing us ALL from exile. Second, we tip our cups to toast His redemption of ALL of our first-born via the blood of a pet lamb or a pet goat and the death of Egypt's firstborn. We eat the meal set before us and find at great cost but at long last, the larger piece of the Afikomen. It had been broken -- as the Ten non-Jewish Tribes had broken the Book of the Covenant read by Moshe at Sinai. How ironic that today, we are given the opportunity to have this Afikomen, representing the covenant that our ancestors found so distasteful, for our dessert, which we chase with the Cup of the Covenant patterned after Moshe's pronouncement of the Blood of the Covenant at Sinai.

Being reunited to Hashem and his vision of rescuing us, redeeming us, and making covenant with us is not all. After we have shown our graciousness for the first three cups and the meal we have eaten, a fourth cup of wine or grape juice is filled. This time we drink with the remembrance of our inheritance to which Hashem has promised that at least a remnant will return.

If there is a contemporary lesson to be learned through the Seder today, I believe it raises the possibility that much of the salt water that today confronts the Jewish population of Israel, comes because the garment of Joseph is still being dipped into blood and a story still fabricated that Joseph does not exist.  If nothing else, Judah should recognize that he has an ally in the House of Joseph against the incursions of the House of Esau in the fields of Ephraim and the fields of the Shomron (Obadiah 17ff)."

In the 4th Century, the Church, in allegiance with Emperor Constantine forbade the observance of the Shabbat and the biblical feasts and formally turned the Church instead toward the observance of a new, "Lord's Day," weekly commemorating the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday, an Easter (commemorating the fertility godess Ishtar), and other pagan celebrations to accommodate the entry of pagans into the ranks of 4th Century Catholicism.

But earlier, Y'shua/Jesus used the customary Passover Seder to institute his renewal of covenant to the Assimilation of the non-Jewish Northern Tribes of Israel. MbY teaches that this covenant was not directed to the House of Judah, whose earlier covenant at Sinai was never abrograted. However, the symbols chosen by Y'shua -- the Afikomen, symbolizing the Book of the Covenant, which was broken, and the Third Cup of Wine (or Grape Juice), the Cup of Covenant representing the Blood of the Covenant pronounced by Moses, serve for Jews as well, as symbols of a renewal of the covenant forged at Sinai.

If these interpretations and explanation of the precise order (Seder) of the Passover Hagaddah have not been understood or have been lacking in your Passover Seder, MbY offers the following helps on this website:  "The Four Cups of the Passover Seder:  How they can reconcile Jews and Joes" and an online guide to assist with organizing Passover Seders. It is not too early to contact MbY about doing a teaching Seder prior to Passover next year!  

Maggid ben Yoseif