The Pesach Seder: The Rosh Hashannah of Faith

The special time the Torah established, when the matzah and maror are before us, is a special time to pass on Emunah from father to son.

Danny Ginsbourg ,

Illustration. Father and son study
Illustration. Father and son study
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The Netivot Shalom asks:’Why, in the Mitzvah of relating the story of Exodus יציאת מצרים on Seder night, are we enjoined that ‘the more one tells, the more meritorious it is’. We don’t find this in other Mitzvot, not even in the Mitzvah to ‘remember’ the Exodus from Egypt יציאת מצרים each day, which we fulfill by mentioning it, in our Shema prayer קריאת שמע”.

Answered the Rebbe:”Pesach is the Holiday of Emunah, and Seder night is in the nature of Rosh Hashana of Emunah, and this purpose of the Mitzvah to tell the story of the Exodus יציאת מצרים on this night, is to instill and strengthen Emunah.’

“In the Mitzvah of והגדת לבנך: ‘and you shall tell your son’, the Torah instilled a special ability to instill Emunah, by the father relating to his son that which he heard from his father, who heard it from his father, and so, in turn, through the unbroken chain of generations, all the way back to the generation that went out of Egypt.

“The special time that the Torah established for this, is when the matzah and maror are before us, a special time to pass on Emunah from father to son, and the more the father passes on, the greater, and more meritorious, it is”.

Indeed, the Zohar Hakadosh states that, when a father tells the story of יציאת מצרים to his son, on Seder night, there is in it a סגולה מיוחדת: a unique ability to instill in his son, Emunah in Hashem.

The Panim Yafot brings a beautiful insight, from the opening verses, psukim, of Parshat Bo:(10:1-2)

’Hashem said to Moshe:’Come to Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants so that I can put these signs of Mine in his midst; and so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son that I made a mockery of Egypt and My signs that I placed among them- that you may know that I am Hashem’.

Expounds the sage:”Literally read, this teaches us, that for the sake of the relatiing of the story to the generations, Hashem did this ‘for me’= בעבור זה עשה ה׳ לי. And, when the Torah says:’so that you may relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son’, it adjures each of us to warn his son, that he, too, must relate the story to his son; as David Hamelech says:(Ps’ 88:6):’So that the last generation knows, that the sons that are born will arise, and tell their sons’.

“And we can further derive that the language:’So that you may relate’, that the miracles and signs that Hashem performed in Egypt, were performed in the merit of the Mitzvot that the future generations would perform, in relating the story of the Exodus יציאת מצרים, even though the generation that came out of Egypt were not worthy of this; and only because of the Mitzvah that their sons will perform, throughout the future generations, did they merit to be redeemed from their bondage in Egypt”.

The Admor Mahar’id of Belz, draws another wondrous insight from these same psukim. He asks:”Why does it start in the singular:’Hashem said to Moshe..so that you may relate’, but conclude in the plural:’וידעתם: so that you’- in the plural-‘may know that I am Hashem’”.

And he answers:’When we reflect on these events, it becomes clear that Bnei Israel were not able to perform in complete form, the Mitzvah to tell the story of the Exodus יציאת מצרים, because they, and their children were all in Egypt, and had, with their own eyes, seen all the wondrous events”, and the essence of להגיד: to tell, is to relate events that the listener had not seen, that were new to him.

“Indeed, Moshe Rabenu was the only one who could fully perform the הגדה: the relating, as only his two sons had not seen the events, as they”- as we are told at the beginning of Parashat Yitro - “did not go to Egypt with Moshe, when he left Midian on his historic mission to take Bnei Israel out of Egypt, but remained in Midian with Yitro, and only rejoined Moshe after the Exodus.

“And since all is by Divine direction, we can deduce that Hashem ‘intentionally’ brought this about, that Moshe’s sons should not see the events, so that Moshe could be the first person who could perform בשלימות, the Mitzvah of relating the wondrous story of יציאת מצרים to the only two sons, who had not seen them.

“And the Cause of all things, Hashem, did so, so that Moshe Rabenu, as the first ‘teller’ to his sons, could imbue the story with his unparallelled holiness, and instill in the story the ability to increase the Emunah of all who would hear it, throughout all the generations, so that they would, as the psukim conclude, ‘know that I am Hashem’.

“This is why the psukim open in the singular, as the command was to Moshe Rabenu, that he be the one- the first- to relate the story to his sons; and the psukim conclude in the plural, to teach that, as a result, all the future sons, when they hear the story, will ‘know that I am Hashem’”.

A parting insight from the S’fat Emet:”The passage that states ‘so that you may tell your son and your son’s son’, and that, theteby, ‘you will know that I am Hashem’, is a PROMISE from Hashem, that if we perform the Mitzvah of relating the story on Leil Seder, all who hear it, and more so the one who tells it, will merit to know that ‘I am Hashem’”.

Chag Sameach!

לרפואת נועם עליזה בת זהבה רבקה ונחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו.



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