Dear Reader,

Successful people know that it’s all in the details. Pesach is a time when we all have different detailed minhagim handed down from generation to generation (depending on where your family originated and the leader of your community); it seems that we are all consumed with seemingly small details, making sure things are done just so. As a whole nation, we all celebrate essentially the same way, but the details are what make each of our celebrations different. From the cutting of the wheat for matzah months before Pesach, to eating or not eating gebrokts on the very last day of Yom Tov, we all have our own ways of doing things.

In fact, Judaism and Torah are full of details; every mitzvah must be done in a very specific manner – from what to do when we rise in the morning to how we go to sleep. On Erev Pesach we are permitted to eat Chometz until a precise time, we drink four cups of wine at the Seder, we use three matzos under the Seder plate…

How fitting that this time of year is filled with details, more than the rest of the year. Pesach, the birth of the Jewish nation, is the time that Hashem chose us and made us into a nation, into His nation, no less. As far as success as a nation (successful people know that it’s all in the details), we must be the most fortuitous nation of all times! Where are the mighty Romans and Greeks? From Alexander the Great to Napoleon, all of the so-called “great” nations that tried to destroy us are non-existent today, but the Jews are still here.

In this issue, read about the successes and contributions the Jews in Israel and abroad are making to the world. And don’t forget about the details…learn about the intricate details of Shmurah Matzah production in Rabbi Zushe Yosef Blech’s informative article. You can also read about the many requirements and nuances of observing the mitzvah of maror at the Pesach Sedarim in Rabbi Yitzchak Gornish’s article, “Maror”.

Kashrus is also all about the details. The difference between certifying a product that contains grape, fruit juice, or grapefruit juice is quite substantial! Rabbi Levy will explore the importance of paying close attention and keeping detailed tracking logs and systems of all receivables to an OK certified facility.

Yet, with all these details we must always stay focused on the big picture – like HaRav Moshe Weber (ob”m) used to say, “To have a mashehu (tiny bit) of chometz in your house on Pesach is only a rabbinic decree, but to be besimcha on Yom Tov (v’samachta b’chagecha) is m’d’oraisa.” This concept also applies to becoming so aggravated and angered if something isn’t quite the way we want it on Pesach…anger is forbidden in the Torah (even a tiny bit) all year long. May your preparations for Pesach go well in all the details and best wishes for a chag kosher v’sameach.

Rabbi Chaim Fogelman