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Countdown to Pesach 11-Apter Rav

The 5th of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apt, the Ohev Yisrael (1755-1825). He learned under Rav Elimelech of Lizhensk and Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov. In 1800 he accepted the post of Rabbi of Apta. Although he held many other rabbinic positions, to the chasidim he remained always the Apter Rav. He lived his last years in Medzibosh, the birthplace of the Baal Shem Tov.


The Apter Rav said: There is a Talmudic rule that one may fulfill his duty to eat Matzah only with grain that may become Chametz. We may learn from this fact ethical principles of value.

A man can perform his duties of full-service to God, only if he serves Him also in his daily works, in his occupation, his eating and drinking, and in the conduct of his possessions. All of these may be performed in a profane manner; a man may cheat, he may eat unkosher food, he may purchase forbidden pleasures. Therefore, if he engages in these activities in the spirit of obedience to God, he has performed a high duty indeed. But one who merely serves God by studying Torah and by prayer has not performed his complete duty, since these cannot be turned to unlawful purposes. (Me’orot haGedolim, II, 31)

iPray-Blessings: Use Blessings to transform daily activities from Chametz – mundane – to Matzah, pure and holy.

Haggadah: Cleaning for Pesach: Transform cleaning from Chametz, another regular daily activity, into an act of Service of God.

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