Tzav-Shabbat Hagadol-Pesach

What is the connection between the Torah portion, its special Haftorah and the coming holiday?

Rabbi S. Weiss,

Judaism Rabbi S Weiss.JPG
Rabbi S Weiss.JPG
Arutz 7
This Shabbat - Tzav and "HaGadol" - lead us into Pesach 5770. Can there be a connection between all three?

One of the most important korbanot discussed in Parshat Tzav is the korban Toda, the thanks-offering. It is a central feature of the Jew to give thanks - to Hashem, to others, even to the world around us which offers so much to us. Indeed, the word "Yehudi - Jew" is based on the same root as the word toda.

The root of toda is connected to "modeh," the admittance that we are not perfect and totally self-sustaining. That
Saying "thanks" requires personal attention and effort.
fact of life is what inspires us to thank and acknowledge those upon whom we depend for our lives and our livelihoods.

So important is thanks-giving, that the Medrash tells us that even if all the other korbanot will someday be discontinued, the korban Toda will remain. And, in the daily Amida-silent devotion, the one section (other than the Kedusha) that cannot be fulfilled by just answering Amen is Modim D'Rabanan. Why not? Because saying "thanks" requires personal attention and effort.

While the korban Toda does not exist today, we do have a modern-day equivalent: the Birkat HaGomel, recited at Torah-reading to give thanks in 4 specific instances: recovery from a serious illness or a dangerous, life-threatening situation, being freed from prison, or crossing an ocean or a desert.

Have you figured out the link to Pesach yet?

All 4 of these HaGomel situations occurred during Yetziat Mitzrayim, the Exodus! We recovered from our spiritual malaise and the depression which gripped us as slaves; we were freed from the vast prison that was Pharaoh's Egypt; we safely crossed the Reed Sea and, of course, we successfully made our way through the desert to Mt. Sinai and the Land of Israel!

I suggest that all of us, at one time or another, face the same crises as our ancestors did: We struggle against illness - be it physical or emotional - stress, despondency or lack of faith. We often feel trapped, as if in prison, within the confines of financial or societal constraints. And making our way through the vicissitudes of life is akin to crossing a vast ocean or desert, battling the elements which confront us until we reach "the other side."

So it seems to me that at all times we must admit our dependency on Hashem and give Him thanks. Indeed, the entire message of Pesach, say Chazal (our Sages), is essentially one of Hakarat HaTov, appreciating G-d and showing our gratitude to Him.

Shabbat "HaGadol?" There is nothing more "Gadol" (great)  than  saying "Toda" for that which is above, & around us.

Chag Pesach Kasher V'Sameach! A kosher and happy Passover holiday!