By the Grace of our Creator

Dear Friend,

Tamar and I hope that you are matched into a program that will truly bring out your full potential. A program that will respect you and bring out the best of your abilities, with teachers and peers that you respect and love to work with.

We are now in the days leading up to the holiday of Passover, the season that commemorates our birth as a nation.

The holiday that we are celebrating is in many ways is similar to the journey that you are embarking on. In one sense, we see this is in how it climaxes in seven weeks at Mount Sinai, where the birth of the nation was formulated as of a life of service: “When you take the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

The dream today, the goal, is not a life of relaxation. On the contrary, the hope is to be set on a trajectory that will allow you to serve to the fullest extent possible.

What's fascinating is that the dawn of this process, the Passover holiday, truly mirrors the experience that you are about to undergo.

The holiday of Passover has three names. Chronologically, the first is mentioned in the Bible, where it' is called “The Holiday of Matzah”. The second is found in Mishnaic discussions and in the Prayers established at that time, were it's called “The Holiday of Our Freedom”. The most recent title is the one used in the vernacular, “Passover” - the holiday of Leaping.

These names, and the order in which they come, describe a process similar to the one that you are embarking on today.

To completely change from one level, from one paradigm, to a completely different entity we need three different steps, each hinted to in one of those three names.

Today you stand with an envelope. All of your education, expertise, and effort, are signed away to an algorithm and a system that will determine where you are needed most.

That humility, which is the first step necessary to be able to truly leave where you are and move to the next step, is hinted to in the name “matzah”, a food with no flavor which doesn't ferment and rise.

However, the world is not beautified by martyrdom. Our humility just opens the door, it leads into an environment where our abilities, our capabilities and our talents are used to the utmost. This is hinted to by the second name “freedom” because a person is truly free when they are expressing their true abilities.

Finally, when we go through this process, the reward that we get is not commensurate with the effort. Rather, you become part of a fortunate few. People that put all of their personal convictions and interests aside to help others - but who come out on the other side to an experience apart from all others. A reality that is on a different level from anything that could have been experienced by simply enjoying the world around us in comfort.

A true leap. A real Passover.

Tamar and I will miss you as you make this journey to the next stage in life. But we take deep pleasure in the incredible impact you make on the world around you, and from the joy and fulfillment that you undoubtedly will get from it.

Wishing you the best of luck.


Rabbi Zalman and Tamar

Match day thoughts from previous years:

All about Passover:

Sell your leaven/Chometz for Passover: