The Sign on the Door

“There are passages in the Bible that today appear primitive.”

April 6, 1969

During the Passover season of 1969, Rabbi Olan raised a topic many of us have wondered about: the lamb shank on the Seder plate.  Amidst the egg, horseradish, parsley, and haroset, the lamb shank might seem to stick out as something strange, even, as Olan put it, “barbaric.”

“The whole institution of animal sacrifices as described in the Book of Leviticus makes us wonder about the value of Scripture altogether.”

But then he went on to reframe the angel of death and the lamb’s blood smeared on the door post in the Passover story as metaphors for how we fashion our homes as protections against the dangers of the world.

“What is the sign on your door in this season of Passover and Easter?  How well do you restrain the angel of death from corrupting the lives of those who dwell in it?”

Follow this link to read the sermon text.

*Written by Joshua F. Hirsch*