Is it so hard to say 'thank you'?

We can relive the slavery in Egypt and the Exodus which was the first step of our nationhood, and be able to see where we are headed.

Phil Chernofsky,

Jews pray at the Western Wall
Jews pray at the Western Wall
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90



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At the Pesach Seder, the main focus is, of course, the Exodus from Egypt. That is what Pesach is meant to be.

We have four cups of wine - and one school of thought matches them to the four terms of redemption - specifically, I will take you out from under the oppression of Egypt, I will save you from there labors, and I will redeem you - these three represent different aspects of the Exodus (details are beyond this Lead Tidbit). The fourth term really goes beyond our leaving Egypt - And I will take you to Me as a nation. This is generally thought to refer to the Sinai Experience, Matan Torah, the Giving/Receiving of the Torah.

Is that part of the commemoration and reliving of the Exodus? We'll have to say yes, because it is the fourth term of redemption. So let's say that without our clear knowledge that it was G-d who took us out of Egypt, the real purpose of the Exodus would be lost.

On the other hand, there are four p'sukim that make up the core of Sipur Yetzi'at Mitzrayim, the story of the Exodus. And those four p'sukim - borrowed from the recitation portion of the Bikurim bringer, deals with our descent to Egypt as a small family, our growth to a large multitude. To Egypt's enslavement of us and oppression. To our calling out to G-d. And His taking us out.

So maybe it is a bit unclear whether Matan Torah is a full-fledged part of the story of our leaving Egypt. Hold that thought.

Dayeinu starts out with our leaving Egypt and the first several lines are clearly a part of the Exodus. But then the poem/song talks about Shabbat, Sinai, the Torah... and beyond. Hold that thought too.
There is a fifth pasuk in the Bikurim bringer's portion that is not (yet) part of the Seder. It's the pasuk about being brought to Eretz Yisrael. We don't cur- rently say it, but perhaps it will be included as we continue towards the Complete Redemption (or when it finally arrives).

We fill a fifth cup of wine. But most of us do not drink it. We call it KOS SHEL ELIYAHU and that points us back to the haftara of Shabbat HaGadol - which is why we are writing all of this now rather than wait for next week.

Towards the conclusion of the Seder, we say L'SHANA HABAA... That definitely points us towards the Geula Sh'leima. And its being at the end of the Seder makes sense. Because that puts things in sequence.

First we relive (B'CHOL DOR VADOR) the Exodus from Egypt, and then we look towards the future for the completion of the GEULA.

In the Bracha of Geula, at the end of the Magid section of the Hagada, after the first two chapters of Hallel, we thank G-d for taking us out of Egypt AND we ask Him for the continuation of the process.
This seems to pop up several times during the Seder. Main focus - getting out of Egypt. Then the look to the future for more.

Rav Steinzaltz in his Hagada, sees the same idea in YACHATZ, the breaking of the middle matza and the hiding of the larger piece for later.

The smaller piece represents our enslavement in Egypt and our miracu- lous redemption from there. That smaller piece is what we say Magid on.

Then, at the end of the meal, we take the larger piece, the Afikoman, and when we eat it we are thinking of it as the matza that we will IYH eat together with the Korban Pesach, when the Beit HaMikdash will be rebuilt.

(Yes, technically, the KP can be brought without the Mikdash, but let's not get into that. We might have stood a chance after HAR HABAYIT B'YADEINU, but when control of Har HaBayit was given over to others, the chances of our bring Korban Pesach were put further on hold.)

And/or, the Afikoman represents the Korban Pesach itself. Both options pointing to the future, rather than the celebration of the past (and present).

Pesach needs to be celebrated and appreciated in all periods of Jewish History. One of the drashot on the Y'MEI CHAYECHA and KOL Y'MEI CHAYECHA, referring to days and nights also, can be understood as the daytime periods of Jewish History - the good times, and the nights of Jewish History, as well.

We in Eretz Yisrael have to understand that Jews all over the world have and need Pesach too. Hence, the focus on the Exodus and the smaller focus on the Sinai factor.

The Eretz Yisrael factor, the fifth term of redemption, the fifth cup, the L'SHANA HABAA (even though many people want to say L'SHANA HAZEH) is still pointing to the Geula still to come.
And here is the point of this Shabbat HaGadol Lead Tidbit.

The haftara says HINEI ANOCHI SHOLEI'- ACH LACHEM ET ELIYAH HANAVI, I am sending you Eliyahu as the harbinger of the Complete Geula, Geula Sh'leima.

We don't read this haftara on the last day of Pesach. We read it right up front. On the Great Shabbat that already points us to the future redemption, even before we begin the celebration and commemoration of the first Geula of so long ago.

It is very special for us to have that focus right up front. Armed with that prophecy and promise, we can relive the slavery in Egypt and the Exodus which was the first step of our nationhood, and be able to see where we are headed.

Pesach teaches us the value of thanking HaShem for every step along the path to the Geula Sh'leima. It all started with Pesach, but we see G-d's plan in the haftara of Shabbat HaGadol Just as we see it in His opening statement to Moshe Rabeinu at the Sneh.








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