‫הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי‬     Haggadah based on the Teachings of Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik Zatza"l                   ...
Telling the story of the Exodus is the main commandment. One example of anauxiliary commandment is eating the matza.On the...
Changing the order of events in the seder would rob the constituent elements of theaspect of Baavur Zeh Lo Amarti and woul...
recited before nightfall (Orach Haim 472, 1). Tosefot notes that while Kiddush maybe recited in the daylight hours on a re...
(as quoted in the Mishna) refer to making a Bracha on the wine and on the day, TheRambam stipulates that we say Bore Pri H...
Pouring the wineThe pouring of the wine is part of the seder, as we learn from the Rambam‘sformulation:                   ...
three cups require meziga for they are aimed at the children, despite the fact that thethird cup is poured only after the ...
‫קדֵּ ׁש מיד כשבא מביהכנ"ס ילבש הקיטל , ישטוף הכוס וידיחנו, ומוזגין לו הכוס ומקדש עליו:‬                                  ...
:‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו מלך העוֹלם בוֹרא מאוֹרי האש‬         ֵָ ֵ ְ ֵ         ָ ָ ְֶֶ       ֵ ֹ‫א‬         ַָ ְ ָ    ‫...
‫‪The requirement of haseva is general, even universal: The Rishonim conclude that a‬‬‫.‪poor person who has no pillow to ...
"Ha Lachmah Anya"  What is the relevance of the declaration we make at the conclusion of Ha LachmaAnya, ―This year we are ...
identifying the appropriate ―time‖ for ―Sippur Yetzias Mitzraim‖ (declaring theExodus) in a classic halachic argument.In t...
‫ארמי עובד אבי‬Next is the leap! Up to this point, we merely stated halachos and the traits of ourpeople - humble origin, ...
,‫ַׁשבכל הלילות אנּו אוכלין ַׁשאר ְר ֹת‬  ‫ְ ָ י ָ קו‬   ִּ ְ ֹ  ָ  ֹ ֵַ   ָ ְ ֶּ                                         ...
framework? Apparently, Mah Nishtanah is part of the Mitzvah of Sipur YetziatMizrayim, part of the obligation to single out...
The Torah commands us to bring the Shtay Halechem on Shavuos, and says that thisoffering is supposed to consist of Chametz...
term...). The Rav explained that Torah Shebichtav represents the strict Midas Hadin,as it clearlt states the punishment fo...
Malchus is Din. It is a medium through which HKBH reveals Himself to mankind,and especially to Bnei Yisrael. Malchus relat...
There are two aspects to slavery: 1) the juridical/political and 2) thetypological/personalistic. Under the political/poli...
Another manifestation of the slave personality is his fear to contradict others, notonly those that have control or jurisd...
axiological act. Time is the most precious possession. This concept is oftenoverlooked by youth.No one is capable of time ...
to bring an Asham Talluy. Is one minute so important that it can now label theperson a sinner? Can the fraction of a secon...
of the free man on the night of Pesach is to acknowledge the sanctity of this time,through Kiddush.The Rav explained that ...
The oppressed, tortured and insecure slave lacking a sense of pride, is incapable ofthinking in terms of compassion and lo...
‫במצריִם‬                                                                              ְָ ִ ְMore on SlaveryThe answer of ...
just before the punch line? I am guessing that the Rav completed this thought in thefollowing way] The juxtaposition of th...
B‟Yad Chazakah UBizroah Netuyah. Jewish philosophy is based on the concept ofVhalachta Bdrochav. We must imitate the actio...
time she will surely receive an invitation to appear before the king and at that timeshe would plead for the people. Morde...
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
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הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
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הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי
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Haggada of Pesach Haggadah based on the Teachings of Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik Zatza"l
Collected and semi-edited by Rabbi Ari Kahn

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הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי

  1. 1. ‫הגדה של פסח – עוד יוסף חי‬ Haggadah based on the Teachings of Harav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik Zatza"l Collected and semi-edited by Rabbi Ari Kahn This is an unfinished work in progress, much of the material was collected from other students of the Rov, or from tapes of shiurim. Perhaps one day this work will be completed, in interim I am allowing limited access so people can learn the Torah of Morenu Harav Zatza"l. If you have any comments or observations – please contact me Adk1010@gmail.com------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Seder"The word seder is interesting and deliberate.On Pesach the Rambam uses the word ‫ סדור‬to describe the obligation of the night: : ‫רמב"ם הלכות חמץ ומצה פרק ח הלכה א‬‫סדור עשיית מצוות אלו בליל חמשה עשר כך הוא: בתחלה מוזגין כוס לכל אחד ואחד ומברך בורא פרי‬‫הגפן ואומר עליו קדוש היום וזמן ושותה, ואחר כך מברך על נטילת ידים ונוטל ידיו, ומביאין שלחן ערוך‬‫ועליו מרור וירק אחר ומצה וחרוסת וגופו של כבש הפסח ובשר חגיגה של יום ארבעה עשר, ובזמן הזה‬ .‫מביאין על השלחן שני מיני בשר אחד זכר לפסח ואחד זכר לחגיגה‬The use of the term seder can be compared and contrasted with many tasks of theKohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, where the Rambam utilizes similar language. : ‫רמב"ם הלכות עבודת יום הכיפורים פרק ד‬‫סדר כל המעשים שביום זה כך הוא: כחצות הלילה מפיסין לתרומת הדשן, ומסדרין את המערכה ומדשנין‬ ...‫את המזבח כדרך שעושין בכל יום על הסדר שביארנו עד שיגיעו לשחיטת התמיד‬A close reading of the Rambam indicates that while on Yom Kippur there is a seriesof several actions whose performance constitutes one Mitzva, on Pesach there aremany independent mitzvot. Why, then, does the Rambam use the term ―sidur‖? Thisterminology indicates that there is one major mitzva on this night, and numeroussatellite mitzvot. The goal is to link the satellite mitzvot with the major mitzva.1
  2. 2. Telling the story of the Exodus is the main commandment. One example of anauxiliary commandment is eating the matza.On the night of Pesach we have an obligation to eat matzah: ]‫בָ עֶ רב תֹאכְ לו מַ צֹת[]שמות פרק יב:יח‬ ֶWe also have an obligation to tell the tale of the Exodus. The crux of the issue is thateating matzot must be linked with the Story of the Exodus. This is the purpose of theseder: to link the auxiliary mitzvot with the main mitzvah of the night. This idea isencapsulated later in the Haggadah: ‫בַ עֲבור זֶ ה ֹלא ָאמַ ְרתי אֶ לָא בְ שעָ ה שיֵש מַ צָ ה ומָ רוֹר מֺ מָחים לְ פָ נֶיָך‬ ִּ ֶ ָ ִּ― „For this‟ is said only when one has matza and maror set before them.‖The matzah and maror (and the Pesach sacrifice, in its time) are part of the story ofthe Exodus.If the Kohen Gadol performs any part of the Yom Kipur ritual service out of thespecified order, he disqualifies the entire process. Does the term seder, when used inconnection with Pesach, also stipulate a specific order which must be followed? Maya person fulfill his obligations on the night of Pesach by performing the Mitzvotconnected with the third cup of wine on the second, and the obligations associatedwith the second cup of wine on the third cup? For example, would someone who atetheir festive meal and recited Bircat Hamazon on a cup of wine, and only afterwardsrecited the Haggadah on another cup of wine, fulfill his obligations? Would it bepermissible to make kiddush and then proceed to eat matza, maror and koreych, andonly afterwards to recite the Haggada? Even though the mitzvot were performed outof order, the obligation to eat matzah and marror on the night of the Fifteenth ofNisan has been fulfilled in such cases. However, the other facet of the mitzvah will bemissed: that of Pesach Matzah U’Maror as part of the obligation of Sipur YetziatMitzrayim (see below, section 82, for a discussion of Raban Gamliel’s statement, :‫כל מי שלא אמר שלשה דברים אלו בפסח לא יצא ידי חובתו‬Thus, if someone made Kidddush and then ate matzah and maror, without tellingthe story of the Exodus, the matzah would lack the aspect of lechem oni, ‗bread uponwhich many things are told‘: : ‫תלמוד בבלי מסכת פסחים דף לו עמוד א‬‫מי כתיב לחם עוני עני כתיב. - ורבי יוסי הגלילי: מי קרינן עני? עוני קרינן. - ורבי עקיבא: האי דקרינן ביה‬ .‫עוני - כדשמואל, דאמר שמואל: לחם עני - לחם שעונין עליו דברים הרבה‬Rashi is quite specific regarding the things that must be said: : ‫רש"י מסכת פסחים דף לו עמוד א‬ .‫שעונין עליו דברים - שגומרים עליו את ההלל, ואומרים עליו הגדה‬One must say the Haggadah and recite the Hallel over the matza. By using thematzah in this fashion it becomes part of the seder. Moreover, the actual eating ofmatzah must come between these two sections of the seder- after the story of theExodus, and before the Hallel. (Shiur date: 3/18/75 Nordlicht tape. #5186)2
  3. 3. Changing the order of events in the seder would rob the constituent elements of theaspect of Baavur Zeh Lo Amarti and would no longer reflect the opinion brought byRabbi Akiva in the name of Shmuel, Lechem Oni, lechem she‟onim alav dvarim harbe(bread of "Oni" translated as bread upon which we answer and transmit many ideas,i.e. sippur ytziat Mizrayim, the story of the Exodus). As in Rashi‘s interpretation ofLechem Oni as ―lechem upon which we recite Hallel and the Haggadah‖, Matzahbecomes a part of the Seder only when it is preceded by the Haggadah, sipur ytziatMizrayim, and followed by the praise and thanksgiving of Hallel. .‫קדש. ּורחץ. כרפס. ַחץ. מגיד. רחצה. מוֹציא‬ ִ ְָָ ִ ַ ַ‫ְ ַ ַ ְ ַ י‬ ֵּ ַ .‫מצה. מרוֹר. כוֹרך. שלחן עוֹרך. צפּון. ברך‬ ְ ֵּ ָ ָ ְ ֵּ ָ ְ ֻׁ ְ ֵּ ָ ַָ :‫הלל. נרצה‬ ָ ְ ִ ֵּ ַ ‫קדש‬ ֵּ ַFour cups The Gemara (Psachim 117b) says that the Rabbis enacted the requirement forfour cups as symbols of freedom (derech herut), and we associate a distinct mitzvawith each cup: Kiddush, Haggadah, Bircat Hamazon and Hallel. We may take one oftwo approaches to this statement. The first approach stems from the fact that neitherKiddush nor Bircat Hamazon are restricted to Pesach night. The most that Pesachadds above every Shabbat or Yom Tov is two brachot (Ga‘al Yisrael and Hallel).Chazal ―borrowed‖ two Brachot, Kiddush and Bircat Hamazon, for two of the fourcups. Kiddush and Bircat Hamazon have nothing to do with sippur Yetziat Mizrayim,rather they are simply included in the total of four cups.The second approach is that on Pesach night a special transformation takes place: Atthe seder, Kiddush becomes a part of sippur yetziat mizrayim. When we makeKiddush on this particular night, we are in fact fulfilling two distinct mitzvot: First,the general mitzvah of Kiddush, based on the commandment to sanctify theSabbath“et yom ha‟shabbat lkadsho”,(Shmot 20,8) which applies to Shabbat and tofestivals which are called ―shabbatot Hashem”. The second Mitzvah is that of sippuryetziat Mizrayim, which is conveyed both as a commandment to tell our children(―V‟higadta l‟bincha‖, Shmot 13, 8) or to remember and take note of the day uponwhich we were redeemed from Egypt (―Zachor et ha-yom ha-zeh asher yazatammizrayim”, Shmot 13, 3). Bircat Hamazon has a similar dual personality on Pesachnight: On the one hand, it is the fulfillment of the year-round obligation of V‟achltav‟sava‟ta u‟veirachta, (―You shall eat, be sated and bless Hashem in thanks,‖ Devarim8, 10). On the other hand, it is also a mitzvah in the specific context of sipur yetziatMizrayim mi‟d‟orayta (a biblical obligation).Regarding Kiddush, there is an apparent difference of opinion between the Ta‖z andthe Magen Avraham: The Shulchan Aruch stipulates that Kiddush should not be3
  4. 4. recited before nightfall (Orach Haim 472, 1). Tosefot notes that while Kiddush maybe recited in the daylight hours on a regular Shabbat or Yom Tov, even as early asplag hamincha, the night of Pesach is different. The Magen Avraham opines thatKiddush may by all rights be recited early on Pesach night, as on any ―regular‖shabbat or festival; the problem arises because the obligation to drink the first of thefour cups, i.e. the kiddush, is concurrent with the obligation to drink the other threecups-- after nightfall. Theoretically, according to the Magen Avraham, one couldrecite the Kiddush a few minutes prior to sunset and only drink the contents of thecup after nightfall, and fulfill the Mitzvah of Kiddush on Pesach night.The Ta‖z disagrees: While it is permissible to recite Kiddush before sunset all yearround, Pesach is different (Orach Chayim, Hilchos Pesach 472:1). According to theTa‖z, Kiddush on Pesach night must take place at the same time that there is anobligation of Pesach, Matzah and Maror. This is only after nightfall. Hence, one maynot recite Kiddush prior to nightfall, even if he were to delay the drinking of thewine until after nightfall. Kiddush on Pesach night has a dual character, and thisadditional aspect requires that we wait until nightfall.This latter interpretation is more in keeping with our understanding of the characterof Kiddush and the seder as a whole, reflecting a unique and intrinsic associationbetween Kiddush on the eve of Pesach with sipur yetziat Mizrayim. The Gemara states: Matchil B‟gnut Umsayem B‟shvach--we begin theHaggadah with the repugnant(Pesachim 116, 8) (Avadim Hayinu or Mi‟tchila OvdeiAvodah Zara) and conclude with praise (Hashem redeeming us, bringing us to EretzYisrael and giving us the Mitzvot of Pesach, Matzah and Maror on this night). TheRambam explains (Hilchot Hametz uMatza, 7:4) that according to Ravs opinion werelate the Gnut and Shvach of Bnai Yisrael: We began as the children of Terach andended up being chosen by Hashem and receiving the Torah. Bchirat Yisrael andKabbalat HaTorah are components of Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim. Thus, the Rambamrequires that we emphasize that Hashem separated us from the other nations andbrought us closer to His uniqueness when we recite the magid. This idea may befound in the Haggadah itself, in Kiddush: Asher bachar banu mikol am v‟rommemanumikol lashon v‟kidshanu b‟mitzvotav. ―This is Daa‟s Haemes that the Rambam refers to:In Kiddush we say exactly what is prescribed by the Rambam, separation from thenations and selection of Bnai Yisrael. Therefore Kiddush on Pesach night is part ofSipur Yetziat Mizrayim.‖On Pesach night it is insufficient to say that Hashem brought us close in order toserve Him. We must also say that this night is different from all other nights. Wemust ask: Why do we eat matzah on this night? Why do we eat maror on this night?Why do we dip twice on this night? Why do we recline on this night? In essence, weare asking why is this night different? If the night is different, then it means thatthere is a unique Kdushat Hayom, sanctity of the day. The Kiddush says just that, andmore; it relates to two aspects of chosenness: The selection of Bnai Yisrael andseparation from the other nations, and the special Kdushat Hayom - this night,intrinsically, is endowed with unique Kedusha and is different from all other nights.The Kdushat Hayom of Pesach night requires that we perform various Mitzvot thatwe do not perform any other time of year. Thus, while Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel4
  5. 5. (as quoted in the Mishna) refer to making a Bracha on the wine and on the day, TheRambam stipulates that we say Bore Pri Hagafen and then make a Bracha on theKiddush Hayom, in order to stress that on Pesach night Kiddush is not simply ablessing, but rather we are declaring the unique, intrinsic sanctity of the night priorto reciting the Haggadah. Kiddush on Pesach night is, indeed, an integral part of theHaggadah.What, then, of Birkat HaMazon? Is the thisr of the fourth cups at the seder merely a―borrowed‖ blessing, a fulfillment of a general commandment, or is it, like Kiddush,a part of Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim? The simple answer is that we mention YetziatMizrayim in the Birkat HaMazon (part of the second paragraph, Nodeh L‟cha), and isthus brought in to the seder. Yet an alternative explanationis possible: The four cupsof wine at the seder are based on the four terms of redemption mentioned in theTorah, in Parshat Vaeira. The Rambam mentions a fifth cup of wine, which wouldbe based on the fifth term of redemption mentioned in that Parsha, ―vheveti”, but wedo not have a cup that represents this fifth aspect. Although the ultimate destinationof Bnai Yisrael after the Exodus was to claim Eretz Yisrael, mention of entering EretzYisrael is oddly missing from the Haggadah. Entry into Eretz Yisrael is mentioned inBirkat Hamazon, and at the seder we use Birkat HaMazon as the vehicle to include,even if only briefly, the fifth term of redemption and to recognize our entry intoEretz Yisrael.The Haggadah, Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim, is not composed of the 2nd and 4th cupsalone; it includes Kiddush Hayom and Bircat Hamazon, as indicated by their inclusionin the four cups required on the night of Pesach.Comparison with Shabbat The Rambam (Hilchot Chametz U‟Matzah 7:1) draws a parallel between theMitzvah of Sipur Yetziat Mitzrayim and the Mitzvah of Kiddush on Shabbat, based onthe commandment Zachor Et Yom Hashabbat. The concept of zachor that is common toboth Shabbat and Pesach expresses itself in Kiddush. The Rambam (Hilchot Shabbat29:1) describes Kiddush as Zechirat Shevach Vkiddush. The Mitzvah of Shabbat is toexpress the uniqueness of the day of Shabbat: Mizmor Shir L‟yom HaShabbat. What isso special about Shabbat: Mah Yom Miyomayim? There arent seven days in a week:there are six days and Shabbat. The equation of Zachor Et Hayom Hazeh AsherYetzatem M‟mizrayim and Zachor Et Yom Hashabbat L‟kadsho relates to this aspect ofuniqueness: Just as Shabbat is different than all other days of the week, Pesach nightis different than all other nights of the year. Kiddush on the night of Pesachestablishes the uniqueness of the night; without it, we would not have 4 cupsassociated with the Haggadah and Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim as required by the TakannatChachamim for this night.Kittel The use of the kittel is a reminder of death, and is another device employed atthe seder to encourage the children to take note of irregular customs and to askquestions. The Rav was of the opinion that a groom in his first year of marriageshould wear a kittel at the seder, as should a mourner in the first twelve months ofmourning. (Heard from Rabbi M. Gordon who was both a chattan and a mourner inthe same year, and the Rov instructed him to wear a kittel at the seder nonetheless.)5
  6. 6. Pouring the wineThe pouring of the wine is part of the seder, as we learn from the Rambam‘sformulation: :‫רמב"ם הלכות חמץ ומצה פרק ח הלכה א‬‫סדור עשיית מצוות אלו בליל חמשה עשר כך הוא: בתחלה מוזגין כוס לכל אחד ואחד ומברך בורא פרי‬ ‫הגפן ואומר עליו קדוש היום וזמן ושותה‬ :‫תלמוד בבלי מסכת פסחים דף קיד עמוד א‬ ,‫מזגו לו כוס ראשון‬ :‫תלמוד בבלי מסכת פסחים דף קטז עמוד א‬ ,‫מזגו לו כוס שני‬ :‫תלמוד בבלי מסכת פסחים פרק י –קיז‬ ,‫מזגו לו כוס שלישי - מברך על מזונו. רביעי - גומר עליו את הלל‬The concept of beginning with mezigat hakos is not limited to Pesach; it applies toevery Shabbat and all Yomim Tovim, and is based on the She‟iltot DRav Achai Gaon,quoted by Tosfot in Masechet Shabbat. In all cases, the food on the table must becovered before Kiddush is recited, and one may not recite Kiddush if exposed food ison the table. In other words, Mezigas Hakos and Kiddush must always be done priorto bringing in the food to the Shabbat or Yom Tov table. Here, the Mishna does notstart with Kiddush, but rather with meziga - pouring or mixing the wine. Apparentlythe meziga itself plays a role in the seder, and is part of the obligation of the night. Ifone were to prepare a cup of wine prior to the seder, before nightfall, he would belacking in the complete fulfillment of the seder.The Mishna mentions meziga regarding the first three cups of wine, but not for thefourth. The Rav explained: Meziga of the second cup is an integral part of the seder,for this is the impetus for the son to ask the Four Questions. Specifically this meziga,of a second cup, arouses the curiosity of the child so that he will ask his father thequestions: Preparation of the wine for Kiddush would not strike the sederparticipants as strange or unusual; only when a second cup is prepared in thismanner would a child‘s curiosity be aroused. (See Rashi in Pesachim 116, where heimplies that the pouring of the wine is what obligates the son to ask at that point).The obligation incumbent upon the parents, ―Vehigadta Lvincha‖, requires us toarouse the curiosity of the children so they will be moved to ask questions, and theformal meziga of additional cups of wine is one of the added nuances we use to makesure the child notices that this night is different from all others. Thus, the Meziga isactually a part of the Sipur Yetziat Mitzrayim.We have seen, then that Vehigadta Lvincha obligates us to explain to our children theevents that took place in the past that led to our freedom. The first three cupspunctuate the section of the Haggada that recounts the Redemption from Egypt, andthe preparation of these cups, the meziga, is part and parcel of the Sipur YetziatMitzrayim. The fourth cup refers to the eventual, ultimate Redemption, a topic that isnot part of the sipur, per se; therefore the fourth cup does not require meziga. The first6
  7. 7. three cups require meziga for they are aimed at the children, despite the fact that thethird cup is poured only after the formal Sipur Yetziat Mitzrayim is concluded.The Rambam‘s formulation is slightly different than our normally accepted practice.According to the Rambam there is no meziga by the third cup, since the pouring ofthe third cup takes place within the context of the meal and would not stir thecuriosity of the children. Since the third cup does not impact Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim,there is no need to mention meziga with it. However, the Rambam goes on to statethat the fourth cup requires meziga as well, implying that the Mitzva of VehigadtaLvincha extends to the future Redemption as well as to the Exodus from Egypt. Theobligation is not just to retell the tale of the Exodus, but to instill the hope for thefuture Redemption.Grape juice The first of the four cups differs from the other three: Generally, the Four Cups should be an expression of freedom. Therefore, if a person prefers grape juice to wine, drinking the grape juice would be an expression of freedom. :‫תלמוד בבלי מסכת פסחים דף קח עמוד ב‬,‫אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל: ארבעה כוסות הללו צריך שיהא בהן כדי מזיגת כוס יפה. שתאן חי - יצא‬‫שתאן בבת אחת - יצא, השקה מהן לבניו ולבני ביתו - יצא. שתאן חי - יצא. אמר רבא: ידי יין יצא, ידי‬ .‫חירות לא יצא‬ :‫רמב"ם הלכות חמץ ומצה פרק ז הלכה ט‬‫ארבעה כוסות האלו צריך למזוג אותן כדי שתהיה שתיה עריבה הכל לפי היין ולפי דעת השותה, ולא יפחות‬‫בארבעתן מרביעית יין חי, שתה ארבעה כוסות אלו מיין שאינו מזוג יצא ידי ארבעה כוסות ולא יצא ידי‬ ‫חירות, שתה ארבעה כוסות מזוגין בבת אחת יצא ידי חירות ולא יצא ידי ארבעה כוסות‬However, the first cup possesses an additional identity: it is also Kiddush, as recitedon any other holiday or Shabbat. The Rambam holds Kiddush to a differentstandard, a different requirement: Wine used for kiddush must be worthy to bespilled as a libation on the Altar. : ‫רמב"ם הלכות שבת פרק כט הלכה יד‬‫אין מקדשין אלא על היין הראוי לנסך על גבי המזבח, לפיכך אם נתערב בו דבש או שאור אפילו כטיפת‬‫החרדל בחבית גדולה אין מקדשין עליו, כך אנו מורין בכל המערב, ויש מי שמתיר לקדש עליו ואומר לא‬‫נאמר היין ה ראוי לנסך על גבי המזבח אלא להוציא יין שריחו רע או מגולה או מבושל שאין מקדשין על‬‫אחד מהן. +/השגת הראב"ד/ [ויש מי שמתיר וכו] להוציא יין שריחו רע או מגולה או מבושל שאין מקדשין‬ +.‫על אחד מהן. א"א ואמת הוא זה וכן מפורש בירושלמי (פסחים פ"י ה"א) שמקדשין ביין קונדיטון‬The Rambam himself notes that there is a dissenting opinion, adopted by theRa‘avad and codified in the Shulchan Oruch 272:5. Nonetheless, Rav Soloveitchikconducted himself according to the ruling of the Rambam and used non-mevushalwine, worthy for the Altar, for the first cup and grape juice for the other cups."Shehecheyanu" She‟he‟cheyanu should be said only on the kiddush and not on the candlelighting. This is true for Pesach and all Festivals.7
  8. 8. ‫קדֵּ ׁש מיד כשבא מביהכנ"ס ילבש הקיטל , ישטוף הכוס וידיחנו, ומוזגין לו הכוס ומקדש עליו:‬ ‫ַ‬ ‫כשחל בשבת מתחילין כאן:‬ ‫בלחש:‬ ‫ויְהי ערב ויְהי בקר:‬ ‫ַ ִ ֶֶ ַ ִ ֶֹ‬ ‫יוֹם הששי. ויְככו השמיִם וְהארץ וְכל צבאם:‬ ‫ֶָָ ָ ְָָ‬ ‫ַ ִ ִ ַֻ ַ ָ ַ‬ ‫ויְכל ֱלהים בטוֹם השביעי מלאכף ֹו ֲשר עשה וטִשבת בטוֹם‬ ‫ַ ְ ִ ִ ְַ ְ אֶ ָ ָ ַ ְ ֹ ַ‬ ‫ַ‬ ‫ַ ַ אֹ ִ‬ ‫השביעי מךל מלאכף ֹו ֲשר עשה:‬ ‫ַ ְ ִ ִ ִ ָ ְַ ְ אֶ ָ ָ‬ ‫ויְברך ֱלהים את יוֹם השביעי ויְקדש את ֹו ךי ב ֹו שבת מךל‬ ‫ָ ַ ִָ‬ ‫ִ‬ ‫ֹ‬ ‫ַ ְ ִ ִ ַ ֵַ‬ ‫ֶ‬ ‫ַ ָ ֶ ְ אֹ ִ‬ ‫מלאכף ֹו ֲשר ברא ֱלהים ל ֲשוֹת:‬ ‫ַע ֹ‬ ‫ְ ַ ְ א ֶ ָ ָ אֹ ִ‬ ‫כשחל בחול מתחילין כאן:‬ ‫סברי מר ָן וְרב ָן וְרבוֹתי:‬ ‫ַ ְ ִ ָ ָנ ַ ָנ ַ ַ‬ ‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו מלך העוֹלם, בוֹרא ערי ה ָפן:‬ ‫ֵ ְ ִ ַ ָּג ֶ‬ ‫ְֶֶ ָ ָ‬ ‫אֹ ֵ‬ ‫ָ ְ ַָ‬‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו מלך העוֹלם ֲשר בחר בנּו מכל‬ ‫ְֶֶ ָ ָ אֶ ַָ ָ ִ ָ‬ ‫אֹ ֵ‬ ‫ָ ְ ַָ‬ ‫עם וְרוֹממנּו מכל לשוֹן וְקדשנּו במצוֹתיו. ַתתן לנּו י-ה-ו-ה‬ ‫ִ ְ ָ ְ ִ ְ ָ וִ ֶ ָ‬ ‫ְ ָ ִָ ָ‬ ‫ָ‬‫ֱלהינּו בא ֲבה (לשבת: שבתוֹת למנּוחה ּו) מ ֹו ֲדים לשמחה‬ ‫ְ ִ ְָ‬ ‫עִ‬ ‫ִ ְ ָ‬ ‫ַ ָ‬ ‫ְ ַהָ‬ ‫אֹ ֵ‬ ‫חָּגים ְמנים לששוֹן (לשבת: את יוֹם השבת ה ֶה וְ) את יוֹם‬ ‫ֶ‬ ‫ַ ַ ָ ַז‬ ‫ֶ‬ ‫ַ ִ ּוז ַ ִ ְ ָ ֹ‬ ‫חג המףוֹת ה ֶה ְמן חרּותנּו (לשבת: בא ֲבה) מקרא קדש‬ ‫ִ ְָ ֶֹ‬ ‫ְ ַהָ‬ ‫ַז זַ ֵ ֵ‬ ‫ַ ַַ‬ ‫ֵכר ליציאת מצריִם. כי בנּו בחרת וְאוֹתנּו קדשת מכל‬ ‫ָ ִַ ְ ָ ִָ‬ ‫ִ ָ ְַָ ָ‬ ‫זֶ ִ ִ ַ ִ ְ ָ‬ ‫העמים. (לשבת - וְשבת) ּומ ֹו ֲדי קדשך (לשבת - בא ֲבה‬ ‫ְ ַהָ‬ ‫עֵ ָ ְ ֶ ָ‬ ‫ַ ָ‬ ‫ַָ ִ‬ ‫ּוברצוֹן) בשמחה ּובששוֹן הנחלתנּו. ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה‬ ‫ָ ְ ַָ‬ ‫ְ ָ ֹ ִ ְְַ ָ‬ ‫ְ ִ ְָ‬ ‫ְָ‬ ‫מקדש (לשבת - השבת וְ) יִשראל וְהזמנים:‬ ‫ְ ֵָ ְִַַ‬ ‫ַ ַ ָ‬ ‫ְ ֵַ‬ ‫כשחל במוצאי שבת קודש מקדשין יקנה"ז ראשי תיבות יין, קידוש, נר, הבדלה, זמן:‬‫8‬
  9. 9. :‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו מלך העוֹלם בוֹרא מאוֹרי האש‬ ֵָ ֵ ְ ֵ ָ ָ ְֶֶ ֵ ֹ‫א‬ ַָ ְ ָ ‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו מלך העוֹלם המבדיל בין קדש לחל בין‬ ֵ ֹ ְ ֶ ֹ ֵ ִ ְ ַ ַ ָ ָ ְֶֶ ֵ ֹ‫א‬ ַָ ְ ָ .‫אוֹר לחשך בין יִשראל לעמים בין יוֹם השביעי לששת יְמי המ ֲשה‬ ֶ ‫ֵ ַ ַע‬ ֶ ֵ ְ ִ ִ ְ ַ ֵ ִ ַָ ֵָ ְ ֵ ְ ֶ ְֹ‫בין קדשת שבת לקדשת יוֹם טוֹב הבדלת. וְאת יוֹם השביעי מששת‬ ֶ ֵ ִ ִ ִ ְ ַ ֶ ָ ְְַ ִ ְַֻ ִ ָ ַ ְַֻ ֵ :‫יְמי המ ֲשה קדשת. הבדלת וְקדשת את עמך יִשראל בקדשתך‬ ָ ֶ ָ ֻ ְ ִ ֵ ָ ְ ָ ְ ַ ֶ ָ ְ ַ ִ ָ ְ ַ ְ ִ ָ ְ ַ ִ ֶ ‫ֵ ַ ַע‬ :‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה המבדיל בין קדש לקדש‬ ֶֹ ְ ֶֹ ֵ ְִַַ ַָ ְ ָ ‫ברּוך אתה י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו מלך העוֹלם, שהחָנּו ְוקְְּמנּו‬ ָ ִ ‫ֶ ֶ ֱי‬ ָ ָ ְֶֶ ֵ ֹ‫א‬ ַָ ְ ָ :‫וְהָּגיענּו לזמן ה ֶה‬ ‫ִ ִ ָ ַ ְ ַ ַז‬ :‫ושותה בהסיבת שמאל ואינו מברך ברכה אחרונה‬"Haseva"Chazal introduced the concept of haseva, the reclining posture, as the symbol offreedom. Reclining on the left side is a phsical attitude of complete relaxation thatmanifests abatement from tension or anxiety. One who is anxious cannot relaxphysically; conversely, physical relaxation leads to emotional relaxation. Reclining issymbolic of throwing off the mental yoke that deprives man of freedom ofmovement. It is the reverse of the stiff and direct posture that demonstratesobedience. A soldier standing erect at attention symbolizes obedience. Reclining, onthe other hand, is indicative of disobedience, of a courageous rejection of theauthority of man, an emphatic statement of one‘s freedom to relax and act as onechooses. On Pesach night, the Halacha requires that we have a relaxed posture thattransmits disrespect for those who would dominate us. We are no longer slaves, andthe reclining posture is that of the fearless man who is unhindered by any externalforces. To appreciate that Chazal viewed this posture as one of disrespect, we shouldnote that elsewhere (see Rambam Mishna Torah Hilchot Chametz U matzah chapter7 law 8, Talmud torah 5:6 the Rov‘s uncle Rav Krakovsky in Avodat haMelechidentified Pesachim 108a and Kalla rabati end of chapter 2 as the sources for thegeneral prohibition in front of one‘s master) they enjoined the student sitting beforehis teacher from reclining because it is a disrespectful posture. Chazal chose thisposture as the symbol of freedom specifically because it indicates a subordinate‘sdisrespect towards his superior. It demonstrates how the poor Jew in Egypt behavedtowards his former master on the night of the Exodus.In antiquity people ate while reclining around a table, or had little individual tablesin front of them; today, when we sit on chairs around a table, care should be taken toactually lean on something in order to perform the mitzvah properly (by turning theback of chair to the side or by taking a second chair to lean on).9
  10. 10. ‫‪The requirement of haseva is general, even universal: The Rishonim conclude that a‬‬‫.‪poor person who has no pillow to lean on is nonetheless obligated to perform haseva‬‬‫]741 ‪[HK‬‬ ‫ּורחץ‬ ‫ְַ‬ ‫נוטל ידיו ואינו מברך על נטילת ידים:‬ ‫כרפס‬ ‫ְַַ‬ ‫יקח הכרפס פחות מכזית כדי שלא יתחייב בברכה אחרונה, ויטבול במי מלח ומברך בורא פרי האדמה,‬ ‫ויכוין לפטור את המרור, ויאכל בלא הסיבה:‬ ‫בָ רּוְך אַ תה י-ה-ו-ה אֱ ֹלהֵּ ינּו מֶ לְֶך הָ עוֹלָם, בוֹרא פ ִרי הָ אֲ דמָ ה:‬ ‫ָ‬ ‫ֵּ ְּ‬ ‫ָ‬ ‫ַחץ‬ ‫יַ‬ ‫יחצה המצה השניה, וחציה הקטנה יניחנה במקומה והחצי הגדולה ישמור אותה לאפיקומן:‬ ‫מגיד‬ ‫ִַ‬‫יכוון לקיים מצות עשה מן התורה לספר בלילה זה ביציאת מצרים. מגלה את המצות ומגביה את‬ ‫הקערה ואומר בקול רם:‬‫לחמא ענָא די אכלּו אבהת ָא‬ ‫ַ ְ ָ ָנ‬ ‫ַ ְ ָ ַ ְ י ִּ ֲ ָ‬ ‫הא‬ ‫ָ‬‫בארעא דמצר ִּם. כל דכפין ֵיתי‬ ‫י ֵ‬ ‫ִּ ְ ִּ‬ ‫ָ‬ ‫ְ ִּ ְ ָ י‬ ‫ְְַָ‬‫ו ֵיכול. כל דצריך ֵיתי ו ִּפסח. הַׁשָּא‬ ‫ַָ ָ‬ ‫ָ ִּ ְ ִּ ְ י ֵ ְי ְ ַ‬ ‫ְי ֹ‬‫הכא, לַׁש ָה הבאה בארעא דיְׂשראל.‬ ‫ְ ִּ ְ ָ ֵ‬ ‫ְְַָ‬ ‫ְ ָנ ַ ָ ָ‬ ‫ָָ‬ ‫הַׁשָּא עבדי, לַׁש ָה הבאה ב ֵי חורין:‬ ‫ָ ַ ָ ַ ְ ֵ ְ ָ נ ַ ָ ָ ְ נ ֹ ִּ‬‫01‬
  11. 11. "Ha Lachmah Anya" What is the relevance of the declaration we make at the conclusion of Ha LachmaAnya, ―This year we are here, next year we shall be in the Land of Israel, this year weare slaves, next year we shall be free.‖ Many ask why we mention this specically atthe conclusion of Ha Lachma whose purpose is to invite any who are hungry to comeand join us at the Seder. The Mishna (Bava Metzia 83a) resolves this problem byrelating a story about Rav Yochanan ben Matya who instructed his son to hire someworkers for a particular job. The son proceeded to hire Jewish workers and heagreed, among other things, to provide them with food. When the son told thefather what he did, the father became concerned regarding the fact that the son didnot specify to the workers what type of food he agreed to provide them. The fatherordered his son to immediately tell the workers before they started the job that heagrees to provide them with only an average meal. Rav Yochanan explained thatwithout specifying otherwise, the workers enjoyed the Halachic right to demand themost lavish meal imaginable. This is because the descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak,and Yaakov, are entitled to the finest treatment possible. Similarly, when we invite aJew to the Seder they are entitled to the most lavish meal imaginable unless wespecify otherwise. Hence, when we extend an invitation to poor people to attendour Seder, we indicate that in principle they are entitled to the finest meal possible.However, due to our current pre-Messianic circumstances we are unable to providethem with such a meal. This indication raises the self-esteem of the poor guests aswe gently imply that their status as Jews endows them with ―VIP status‖ and thatanything we give them is less than what they deserve.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"Magid"Before proceeding with the text of the Hagaddah, an overview of the magid and itsparticular structure reveals important ideas: The Hagaddah consists of 5 parts, andmagid is comprised of three distinct sections, beginning with Mah Nishtanah/AvadimHayinu and concluding with Gaal Yisrael. The first section of magid, comprised ofthe laws pertaining to ―Yetziat Mitzraim‖, begins with ―Avadim Hayinu‖ and presentsthe philosophical principles that form the root and foundation of the Mitzvas SipurYetziat Mizrayim. Without these postulates it would be impossible to conduct SipurYetziat Mizrayim. This first section includes some Halacha as well, as it pertains tothe obligations of the night. In this first section, then, we declare, There is a Mitzvahof ‗sippur yetzias Miztraim‟ -- declaring the Exodus. We identify the halacha. We statethe basic law. We say that in essence even if we know the story, the reason it is a―mitzvah‖ for us to recite Yetziat Mitzraim, is because it is the study of Torah; like―talmud Torah,‖ there is always more to learn. The more a person studies, the morehe will learn and know. Therefore, the first part is not contingent upon erudition orknowledge but is a positive commandment. Indeed, at this very moment, we aretold of the five ―Rabonim‖, the greatest scholars of Jewish law. Even they learnedsomething new; follows ―Amar Rav Elazar‖ (―Rabbi Elazar, son of Azariah said‖),11
  12. 12. identifying the appropriate ―time‖ for ―Sippur Yetzias Mitzraim‖ (declaring theExodus) in a classic halachic argument.In the passage that immediately follows, ―Boruch Hamokom‖ (Blessed in G-d whogave the Law to His People, Israel), the Ba‟al Hagaddah seems overcome with joy.Why this ecstatic enthusiasm? And in praising God, why tell about all four sons,including the skeptic and the agnostic? The answer is truly a cause for rejoicing:Each one has a share! The great scholar cannot say to the ignorant man, ―My share isgreater.‖ The man who has not been blessed by the Alm-ghty with a great mind butwho puts in a sincere effort is recognized as an equal to the great scholar; uniquescriptural texts are brought for the great mind, the simpleton and even the one whorefutes -- the skeptic. Every Jew is possessed of intrinsic greatness, although we donot know when it will emerge. This unique Jewish humanism is derived from theProphet Ezekiel: ―Boruch Sheim K‘vod Malchuso‖ (Blessed is the Name, the glory ofHis Kingdom is forever). We are all in the embrace of the Alm-ghty. ―BoruchHamokom‖ -- Everyone, everything is in His space. As one cannot escape space, socan he not escape Hakodosh Boruch Hu. When He gave the Torah, He did not give itjust to the great minds able to grasp its depths. In this, Torah transcens all otherforms of knowledge: Although some cannot understand science and therefore haveno share in science, in Torah everyone has a share. It is perhaps more important totell the simple child than the great mind. G-d embraces the whole world as a motherembraces all her children, no matter how many. He embraces all mankind,especially the Covenental Community.‫(מתחילה עובדי עבודה זרה היו אבותינו‬Orginally our ancestors were idolators). What kindof a statement is this and what does it tell? There is not a superfluous word in theHagaddah. Why, then, was this recitiation from the Prophet Joshuah introduced? Ittells of our humble origins, our low beginnings. We may contrast this world viewwith that of other ancient societies (Greek, Roman, Nordic) whose mythologyexplains their origins in a love affair between a god and a human. Not so the Jews.We tell of our low origin. ―My parent was a simple idolator.‖ ―We would haveremained there in Egypt.‖ Our subsequent stature is due to a special act of gracefrom G-d. He invited us ―to come nearer‖ in an act of Chessed - loving kindness.Any nation could have been chosen; we are not deserving. Gratitude is the verybasis of our faith. ―You didn‘t display any specific traits of character to make youworthy. I selected you because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.‖The next thought is very cryptic, describing, in short, the paths taken by Esav andYaakov. They were two brothers; their destinies should have been identical. Howdid Esau come to inherit ―Har Seir‖, and why is Yaakov‘s path such a circuitous one?In Vayishlach (Bereisht 36, 6) we are told: ―Esau took his wives, sons and daughter,his livestock - all he had acquired, and went to a different land.‖ He didnt‘ eatmanna in the desert for 40 years. He merely took over the land because G-dpromised it to him. He took it over quickly, and not after a long, long waitingperiod. And yet the same promise was made to us! Did Jacob see this promisefulfilled? Not quickly, not yet; eventually, yes! So what idea is expressed in thisshort, terse statement? It is a statement of our uniqueness: No other nation hasreceived a promise that took so long to implement. The gentile writer Ibsen said,―What is a Jew? He who waits!‖ No other nation knows how to wait as the Jewishnation does. This is the defining, characteristic trait of the Jew.12
  13. 13. ‫ארמי עובד אבי‬Next is the leap! Up to this point, we merely stated halachos and the traits of ourpeople - humble origin, the formative traits of gratitude and patience, etc. Now, wetell the history of our destiny: Arami Oved Avi (which may be translated either ―Myfather was a wandering nomad‖ or ―The Syrian almost killed my father‖). This isthe second of the three sections of magid, comprised of the narrative portion and thedescription of Pesach, Matzah and Marror based on the statements of RabbanGamliel that are included as part of the narrative.The same text recited when bikurim were brought to the Beit HaMikdash each year,found in sedra “Ki Sovo” (Devarim), is transformed by the Haggadah. While in theBeit Hamikdosh, it was merely a statement, here in Hagaddah it is analyzed indepth. We employ comparative analysis between the two places. ―Sipur‖, then, isnot merely ―to tell‖ but ―to study‖. This passage is not merely recited, as in the BeitHamikdash; on this special night, it is not merely ―told‖ but studied and understood.It is ―semantics in depth‖. Relating Yetzias Mitzraim is not narrative, it is an in-depth study every Pesach; it is Talmud. The analysis, the limud, continues throughRabbi Yehuda Hayah Notayn Bahem Simanim – ―Rabbi Yehuda assigned themacronyms: detsach, adash, beachab‖.This second section of the magid, then, contains two ideas that describe and defineJewish history—G-d‘s grace, and Jewish waiting. Together, they describe what wecall Kabolas Ohl Malchut Shamayim: We have accepted our historic destiny, acceptedour role! The struggle that began 3500 years ago has not yet been resolved; Esauwent to Seir (Rome) and Yaakov continues to await his destiny. We are eternallyindebted to Him for choosing us for this destiny, no matter how long it takes to seeits fruition. This is Kabolas Ohl Malchus Shamayim, and leads us directly in the thirdsection of the magid comprised of the first two chapters of Hallel, an overflowing ofjoy and praise to the Almighty who has chosen us and brought to this point in ourhistory: Baruch Ata…asher ge‟alanu v‟ga‟al et avoteinu ..., connecting our destiny, ourhistory, and our vision of the future.We proceed with the text of the Haggadah: :‫מוזגין כוס שני וכאן הבן שואל‬ ?‫נַׁשָּ ָה הלילה ה ֶּה מכל הלילות‬ ֹ ֵ ַ ָ ִּ ‫ִּ ְ ַ נ ַ ַ ְ ָ ַ ז‬ ‫מה‬ ַ‫ַׁשבכל הלילות אנּו אוכלין חמץ ּומָּצה, הלילה‬ ְַָ ַ ָ ַ ֵ ָ ִּ ְ ֹ ָ ֹ ֵ ַ ָ ְ ֶּ :‫ה ֶּה כלו מָּצה‬ ָ ַ ֹ ֻּ ‫ַ ז‬13
  14. 14. ,‫ַׁשבכל הלילות אנּו אוכלין ַׁשאר ְר ֹת‬ ‫ְ ָ י ָ קו‬ ִּ ְ ֹ ָ ֹ ֵַ ָ ְ ֶּ :‫הל ְלה ה ֶּה (כלו) מרור‬ ֹ ָ ֹ ֻּ ‫ַ ַ י ָ ַ ז‬‫ַׁשבכל הלילות אין אנּו מטבילין אפילּו פעם‬ ַַ ִּ ֲ ִּ ִּ ְ ַ ָ ֵ ֹ ֵ ַ ָ ְ ֶּ :‫אחת, הל ְלה ה ֶּה ַׁשָּי פעמים‬ ִּ ָ ְ ֵ ְ ‫ַ ַ י ָ ַ ז‬ ָ ֶּ‫ַׁשבכל הלילות אנּו אוכלין בין יוַׁשבין ּובין‬ ֵ ִּ ְ ֹ ֵ ִּ ְ ֹ ָ ֹ ֵ ַ ָ ְ ֶּ :‫מסבין, הל ְלה ה ֶּה כלנּו מסבין‬ ִּ ֻּ ְ ָ ֻּ ‫ַ ַ י ָ ַ ז‬ ִּ ֻּ ְ"Ma Nishtana"According to the Rambam the leader should say the Mah Nishtana. It is possible thatthe Mishna did not see the ma nishtaneh as a formal text to be asked, but asquestions to be taught the child that doesn‘t know how to ask. It is possible that―Mah Nishtaneh‖ should not be translated as ―why is this night different‖? Rather asa statement ―How different is this night‖! This would clearly establish the ―MaNishtana as part of what the reader reads and not what the child asks, a closereading of the Rambam would lead to this conclusion. Therefore after the child asksas is the custom today, the leader should repeat the Mah Nishtana.The different items on the Seder plate are intended to arouse the curiosity of thechildren by indicating the Korban Pesach (shank bone), Maror, Charoses and theMatzah. These are the topics around which the 4 questions revolve. The Rambammentions that at this point the second cup of wine is poured and here the child asksand then (the Rambam adds) the leader (Koray) recites the 4 questions (MahNishtana). What does the child ask at this point if not the 4 questions? If the childhas asked these questions, why does the leader recite the 4 questions as well? Why isthe term Mah Nishtana used in reference to the leader and not the son? At the Sederof Reb Chaim Brisker ZT"L the children would recite the 4 questions in reverse ageorder and then Reb Chaim would recite the 4 questions prior to Avadim Hayinu.Reb Chaims opinion was that Maggid had to be recited in question and answerformat. That is why we say "This Pesach (sacrifice) that we are partaking of, for whatreason do we do so (Al Shum Moh)".Based on this, the Rav offered the following new interpretation of the 4 questions. Ifthe questions only related to the eating of Matzah and Maror, the text of thequestions should have simply been: Why do we eat Matzah on this evening? Why dowe eat Maror? Why do we introduce the questions with the Mah Nishtanah14
  15. 15. framework? Apparently, Mah Nishtanah is part of the Mitzvah of Sipur YetziatMizrayim, part of the obligation to single out the night of Pesach, just like Kiddush.Again the comparison to Shabbat is important: Shabbat is unique in the prohibitionof engaging in work. Pesach is unique in the 3 Mitzvos that apply only on this night,Pesach, Matzah and Maror and Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim. These 3 Mitzvos takentogether with the questions regarding dipping the vegetables in salt water and theobligation to eat in a reclining position (that will be answered through Sipur YetziatMizrayim) represent the distinguishing characteristics of this night that are discussedas part of Maggid and Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim. We introduce the questions with theunique structure of Mah Nishtanah in order to underscore this uniqueness.Who asks?Avadim Hayinu, the story of the exodus, is how the Torah begins the answer to theBen Chacham. It immediately follows the Mah Nishtanah. The Avadim hayinu is theanswer offered in the Torah to the question placed in the mouth of the wise son ofthe Haggadah.Which child is asking the Mah Nishtanah? Based on a process of elimination theanswer must be the wise son, the four questions are complex and beyond thecapabilities of either the simple son (Tam) for obvious reasons it is not the son whois incapable of asking. The Rasha scorns the entire process so he would be excluded.This confirms that it must be the Wise Son who asks these questions at the seder. Weanswer him initially with the Avadim Hayinu which in the Torah is the answer tothe wise son. ‫דברים פרק ו‬ ‫כ) ךי יִשאלך בנך מחר לאמר מה העדת וְהחסים וְהלשןטים ֲשר צָה יְקָק ֱלהינו אתכם‬ ֶ ְ ֶ ֵ ֹ‫ַ ִ ְ ָ ִ א ֶ ִ ו ֹ ו א‬ ִַֻ ֹ ֵ ָ ָ ֹ ֵ ָָ ְִָ ְָ ָ ְ ִ ‫(כא) וְאמרף לבנך ֲבדים היִינו לפרעה במצריִם ַטוֹציאנו יְקָק מלצריִם בָד ח ָקה‬ ָ ‫ְ י ֲז‬ ַ ְ ִ ִ ‫ֹו‬ ֵ ִ ‫ְְַ ֹ ְ ִ ְָ ו‬ ָ ִ ָ‫ָ ַ ְ ָ ְ ִ ְ ָ ע‬We then proceed to tell the rest of the story of the exodus but first we must involvethe other 3 sons. We do try and stimulate the Wise son on his level by giving him ahalachic answer, and discussing some of the Halachos of Pesach that apply to thisnight. It is in this context that we should undertand the next few paragraphs:"Had not God taken our forefathers out of Egypt we and succeeding generationswould have remained as slaves to Pharohh in Egypt": this is the Halacha of in eachgeneration we must see ourselves as if we personally were redeemed from Egypt.We then say that as far as the Mitzvah of Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim is concerned, there isno upper limit for Divrei Torah. Next we read the Berysa that shows that all areobligated in the Mitzvah of Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim no matter how learned one mightbe. Therefore these next sections are designed to respond to the Wise son, startingwith biblical response and continuing with the special needs of the inquisitiveadvanced student. But these statements while being halachik in nature are inclusiveand take in the needs of the other children.Chametz15
  16. 16. The Torah commands us to bring the Shtay Halechem on Shavuos, and says that thisoffering is supposed to consist of Chametz. The Shtei Halechem was different fromother Menachos in that it alone consisted of Chametz. The Rav explained why theRamban was apparently bothered by this difference and how the Ramban explainedthe unique nature of the Shtei Halechem.The Ramban states that the Shtei Halechem is first and foremost a Korban Todah,offer of thanksgiving to Hashem for the harvest that has just been completed. In factthe Korban Omer is also an offer of thanksgiving, as we bring it from the newlygrown barley, as a general thanksgiving on behalf of Bnei Yisrael for the harvest.The Shtei Halechem, like other Korbanos Todah, consists of Chametz. The Rambanexplains that the word Chametz suggests Midas Hadin, the strict attribute ofjudgement by Hashem. The term Chametz is used in connection with things thathave soured and gone bad, for example wine that has gone sour, Chometz Yayin.Midas Hadin requires immediate retribution for the sour deed done by theindividual. That Hashem accepts our Korbanos and grants us forgiveness is evidenceof the Midas Hachesed of Hashem. For if Hashem judged us only through the strictMidas Hadin, the person would have to offer himself as the very sacrifice to attonefor his sin. It is only through the Chesed of Hashem that we can bring Korbanos inlieu of our personal debt. (The Rav noted that Hashem is referred to as Elokim(denoting the Midas Hadin) when He commands Avraham to bring Isaac as asacrifice. It is only after Avraham comes as close as possible to fulfilling thecommand that the ram becomes the sacrifice, and the Midas Hadin is transformedinto the Midas Hachesed (and Hashem is referred to by that name).The Ramban then says that it is the desire of Hashem that Korbanos should notinclude anything that symbolizes Midas Hadin. Rather, Hashem wants the Korbanosto consist of items that represent the interweaving of Midas Hachesed in the world,similar to the way in which He created the world. That is why Chametz, which issymbolic of sin and strict Midas Hadin is not usually included with Korbanos. TheRav explained this through the following analogy. We recite the Bircas Hagomelwhen Hashem saves us from misfortune, thanking Hashem for granting favors tothose that are guilty for He has granted me all favors. Why do we add the statementthat Hashem grants favors to the guilty? Why not simply thank Him for granting mea favor? Because if Hashem operated through a strict enforcement of Midas Hadin,the guilty would not be spared. It is only because of the kindness of Hashem, who atthe the time of creation blended Midas Hachesed with Midas Hadin, that we aresaved. Chametz, Midas Hadin, as part of the Korban Todah, would argue againstman being granted this Chesed from Hashem. When Hashem grants us Chesed evenin situations that we are not deserving of it, we must recognize and acknowledgeanother example of how Hashem blended Chesed with Din.Man should not think that he he has been shown kindness by erroneously believingthat he lives in a world of complete Din, and he has been saved because he wasjudged to be deserving based on his merits. The Korban Todah consists of Chametzto remind us that it is only through the Chesed of Hashem that our sour ways havebeen overlooked. We show that Din and Rachamim have been intertwined.The Ramban says that on Shavuos, the time of Mattan Torah, we bring this KorbanTodah, Bdin Torah, because it is the day of Atzeres, Vhamaskil Yavin (The Ravnoted, in only half jest, that one must be concerned when the Ramban uses this16
  17. 17. term...). The Rav explained that Torah Shebichtav represents the strict Midas Hadin,as it clearlt states the punishment for each transgression, as well as the definitions ofguilt and innocense. Torah Shebeal Peh, on the other hand, represents the MidasHachesed Vrachamim. Torah Shebichtav was given on Shavuos while Torah ShebealPeh was given on Yom Kippur. Shavuos, with its connection to Torah Shebichtavand absolute Din, requires a Korban of Chametz which represents Din. Our task onShavuos is to sweeten the absolute Midas Hadin, of Torah Shebichtav, with theaspect of Rachamim, as represented by Torah Shebeal Peh. Blending Torah ShebealPeh with Torah Shebichtav on Shavuos is yet another example of how we recognizethe greatness of Hashem for creating the world through a combination of Chesedand Din. Torah Shebeal Peh allows us to transform the strict Midas Hadin of TorahShebichtav, as symbolized by the Chametz in the Shtei Halechem, into MidasHarachamim.This is why, according to Kaballah, we stay up Shavuos night and learn TorahShebichtav followed by Torah Shebeal Peh. We begin with Torah Shebichtav,represented by the Chametz of the Shtei Halechem, but we must insert TorahShebeal Peh, in order to sweeten the absolute Din with Chesed. By the morningwhen we get to the Krias Hatorah of Kabbalas Hatorah (Midas Hadin and TorahShebichtav), we have already sweetened the Midas Hadin through our study ofTorah Shebeal Peh during the night. The Ramban is hinting that Shavuossymbolizes Midas Hadin, and the Korban of Chametz that is brought on Shavuosreenforces that symbolism. (On Hoshanah Rabbah we have the custom to learnTorah Shebichtav alone. The Aravah symbolizes the sweetening of the Midas Hadin,Torah Shebichtav. There is no need to mix in Torah Shebeal Peh also.)The Ramban notes that according to Chazal, the Korban Todah will never benullified because it represents the blending of Rachamim and Din, without which theworld could not exist.The Beis Halevi asks how could the Jews obligate themselves at Mount Sinai withNaaseh Vnishma? After all they did not yet know which Mitzvos Hashem would givethem. We have a rule that one cant obligate himself with a Davar Shayno Katzuv, anunfounded and unspecified obligation. If Kabbalas Ol Mitzvos was Davar ShaynoKatzuv, it is essentially an Asmachta, so how did the Jews become obligated to keepthe Mitzvos at Sinai? He answers that the concept of Tnai, conditional acceptance,does not apply to Kabbalas Hamitzvos. According to the Ramban there is noAsmachta [a purchase based on a chance event, e.g. a bet, where there is a lack ofGmiras Daas due to the uncertainty of the outcome] by Gittin and Kidushin becauseit is sinful for a man to mislead a woman in the subject of marriage and divorce.Therefore we do not allow a man to claim that his words were an Asmachta and thathe didnt really intend to marry this woman. The Beis Halevi applies the sameconcept to Kabbalas Hatorah at Mount Sinai, that an event of such magnitude doesnot lend itself to the restrictions of Asmachta and therefore Bnei Yisrael were able toobligate themselves accordingly. [Even though in general we say that Asmachta LoKani, Kinyan requires complete understanding by the parties of the transaction andcertitude regarding the object in question, we suspend this requirement when itcomes to the acceptance of Torah and Mitzvos at Sinai. The very essence ofobligating ones self to Torah requires a willingness to respond in an unlimitedfashion to the requirements of Torah.]17
  18. 18. Malchus is Din. It is a medium through which HKBH reveals Himself to mankind,and especially to Bnei Yisrael. Malchus relates the presence of HKBH and Hisomnipotence to the rest of creation, the entire universe. The same laws, be theyphysical or metaphysical, apply to all creation, be they in the furthest nebulae orwithin the closest proximity to man. This form of Din is what is referred to as RatzonHakadmon, which HKBH implanted in every flower and spring so that they mayextol the glory of Hashem. This Ratzon Hakadmon completely controls thedynamics of the universe, including the human being. This is the ultimatemanifestation of Din.As Chazal say (Sifri Haazinu):"Haraisa Chama Shokaas Bamizrach?"Has one ever seen the sun set in east? This inviolability of nature is Din. It isimpossible to speak of different laws that govern the speed with which differentlight beams travel. If one accepts the opinion that on Rosh Hashonah the world wascreated, then Rosh Hashonah is truly the ultimate Yom Din, as the universe which isbased on Din, on the inviolate laws of nature. The concept of Selicha Umechilawould have no place in such a universe built on Din. The perfect description isMalchuso Btoch Olamo, that kingship of HKBH, Din, is at the center of the universeand creation. :‫מחזיר את הקערה למקומה, מגלה את המצות ואומר‬ ‫ֲבדים היִינו‬ ָ ִ ָ‫ע‬SlavesThe Torah says that Hashem is the One who took us out of the "house of slaves".Why the emphasis on the house of slaves? According to Rabbi Samson RaphaelHirsch there are 2 types of slaves. The first is a free man who is defeated in war andbecomes a slave. He hates slavery as it contradicts everything he knew as a free man.He cant wait to throw off the yoke of slavery and be free again. Another type ofslave is one whose ancestors were slaves for many generations. Such a slave cannotappreciate freedom. The Jews were enslaved for many years in Egypt. The Torahtells us that after Paro became sick, the people cried out to Hashem. Why didnt theycry out to Hashem earlier? They did not pray before under intolerable conditionsbecause slavery was so ingrained in them.The Torah tells us that Bnai Yisrael were redeemed from the house of Pharoh. Someslaves were forced to work for the state. Other slaves were graciously given by thestate to deserving citizens, who were Pharohs subjects. A slave in a private homewho works for cruel masters has a very difficult life. However sometimes a slavemay have a master with some compassion and be treated nicely. However when oneis a slave to the state, his masters are invariably sadists who find delight in torturingothers. The Torah tells us that the Jews were not only slaves in private homes. Somewere treated better while others were terribly abused. However, the worst positionwas to be a slave to the state, to Pharoh. During the Holocaust, the concentrationcamps were the most brutal and sadistic places for the inmates because the peopleselected to run those camps were the most sadistic of all. The same was true in Egyptas it was in Nazi Germany.Slavery18
  19. 19. There are two aspects to slavery: 1) the juridical/political and 2) thetypological/personalistic. Under the political/political, slavery is identical with adoctrine of totalitarian, or all inclusive, private property. It embraces the animateand inanimate, including mankind. The body of the slave belongs to someone otherthan the slave himself. Under the second aspect of slavery, slavery represents a classof people who thinks, feels and acts (or reacts) in a distinct manner, therebyreflecting a peculiar personality. The personalistic aspect of slavery may be foundeven among free men. These two aspects of slavery do not always go hand in hand.When we say in the Hagadah (at the conclusion of Magid) that we praise Hashemfor the redemption and freedom of our soul, it refers to both kinds of slavery. Wewere set free physically and we were also liberated from the highly restrictive slavepersonality.The Halacha calls the political/juridical aspect Kinyan Mamon. The master hasproperty rights that one has concerning another. The Halacha calls the personalisticaspect Kinyan Issur, which refers to the Halachic constraints that are placed on theslave because of his strange and peculiar personality. It behooves us to analyze theHalachos associated with the personalistic or Kinayn Issur regarding the slave. Thereare fundamentally 3 Halachos that reflect our view of the slave personality. 1) Evedis relieved of time oriented Mitzvos (Mitzvas Assay ShHazeman Grama). 2) Eved isexcluded from matrimony (Ayn Lo Tfisas Kdushin). His act of betrothal does notestablish a matrimonial community. 3) The slave is disqualified as a witness in civiland criminal cases.The laws noted above are not just of technical significance. They are rooted in theslave mentality and personality, in his action and reaction. A slave (the Rav notedthat we are talking about anyone who demonstrates the slave personality, whichmight include free men of distinction) is disqualified to testify in civil and criminalcases simply because we dont trust him. Apparently the commitment to truth or asmany ethicists and philosophers call it the "truth" or "norm" is unknown to the slave.Only the free man can experience that norm, not the serf. The reason for theinsensitivity of the slave to truth can be found at two levels. In the first level, theslave is a person without options. He has no freedom of choice between alternatives.He has only one course of action that he can follow. When the torah talks of freepeople in general and the Jew in particular, it talks of two alternative ways, Tov andRa, Good and Evil, Bracha and Klala. The free man has the ability to choose betweenthem. The slave does not have that freedom of choice. He has no faith in himself andlacks the urge and drive to initiate. His lack of decision making ability and freedomof choice manifests in an inability to intervene in certain situations to improve hislot. He lacks the tools that a free man would employ to help himself under similarcircumstances. People who are not free (slaves or prisoners in concentration camps),whose opportunities are restricted, develop a more imaginative approach to theworld. They view things the way they would like the world and reality to be, not theway it actually is. The inability to intervene and materially affect the reality of theirsituation leads them to perceive their world through a personalistic/subjective andslanted viewpoint in order to soothe their ego. (The Rav noted that people withvarious impediments often view the world from a slanted and imagined perspective,colored by their own personal situation and how they would like their world to be.)The Torah did not entrust the slave to testify because he does not see thingsobjectively. He sees events and situations through his slanted subjectivity.19
  20. 20. Another manifestation of the slave personality is his fear to contradict others, notonly those that have control or jurisdiction over him, but even in situations thatcontradiction would not result in any harm to him. A sense of unjustified fear is themotivating force in all aspects of his life. The Rav compared this mindset to that ofmany inmates in concentration camps who were afraid to contradict anyone, even achild, no matter how outlandish the statement might have been. The Torah describesmost beautifully this neurotic, unjustified fear that the Jews will experience as part oftheir exile and punishment. In those nations you will not find peace and willexperience fear day and night. The Torah describes irrational fear, a phobia that isnot necessarily based in reality.The slave deemed untrustworthy not only because of his imagination, but alsobecause he is motivated by unjustified fear that will not allow him to contradictanyone of a higher station. When one testifies and tells the truth he has to contradictand antagonize someone. A person who is afraid to do antagonize is disqualifiedfrom giving testimony. Simply put, the slave is essentially a frightened person. Hecant be objective, his power of observation is determined by his imagination andfantasy and he is engulfed in fear. The slave has no power of observation or courageto stand up for his beliefs and ideas. The free man is capable of telling the truth nomatter the situation that he may find himself to be in. ‫לפרעה‬ ֹ ְְַImplications of slaveryThe second Halacha is that a slave is relieved of commandments that are timeoriented. The reason is that the slave lacks the time experience. Everything in theuniverse exists in time and space. All evolutionary processes in nature are the resultof time passage. The organic world is intertwined with the passage of time. Thecharacteristic or cycle of all organic tissue is birth, life and death. The life of anyorganic tissue is the inexorable approach of death. Life and death are phenomenonexperiences that can only be understood in the context of time.Even though everything exists in time, not everything experiences time. Man is theonly creation endowed by Hashem with the capability of experiencing time. Man iscapable of not simply living in time but to appreciate the meaning of the passage oftime as the awareness of a time-existential stream of selfhood. Unfortunately notevery human takes advantage of the ability to experience time and not simply to livein time. Many human beings simply flow with inexorable tide of all powerful andirresistible time. Yet such people have denied themselves the excitement of theexperience of time.What are the components of the time experience? (Aging is not included, for eventhe animals in the field age but do not understand the time experience.) There are 3component parts or acts to the time experience. 1) Retrospection. There is no timewithout retrospection. By retrospection we mean re-experiencing of the past.Retrospection for a young man is difficult, but it is very easy for an old man. Time ismemory. Without memory there is no time. 2) The time experience consists inexploration of things yet unborn, of events not yet in existence, the exploration of thefuture. The anticipatory existence of events still unrevealed. 3) Appreciation of andvaluation of the present moment as the most precious possession one has. It is an20
  21. 21. axiological act. Time is the most precious possession. This concept is oftenoverlooked by youth.No one is capable of time awareness if retrospection is alien to him and if he isincapable of reliving past experiences. What is Sipur Yetziat Mizrayim? The wholeMitzvah does not express itself simply in relating a story of what happened. Rather,it is the reliving of the drama. We must re-experience and relive the exodus. That ishistory. Archeology describes events that disappeared long ago, and even thoughthey may be reproduced by memory, they are not alive. There is no retrospection.History is not only the recorded story of events, but it is part of the time awarenessof a people or group that I reenact and restage. No time awareness is imaginable ifthe latter lacks the historical experience.The Rav observed that the tragedy of the American Jew is based on the fact that heforgot his past. We are not referring to the simple stories of peasant life in Europe.Rather he lost the ability to relive time as part of his own I-awareness, he lost touchwith Judaism assertion that the past is relevant and is a part of me. Rabbi Akiva isnot simply a figure that lived 1800 years ago. He and his teachings have beenintegrated into our personalities. The same applies to all the great scholars andleaders throughout the generations. Many American Jews forfeited their timeawareness and retrospection, they became Jews without a past. The Rav met manyyoung people who did not know the name of their grandfather. They would say thathe died a long time ago in "the old country", and they forgot his name. Sadly, their I-awareness begins with his death, not his life. Their time awareness begins with theirbirth. The existence of the human being does not commence with his birth. Thehuman being is born into the world as part of the endless stream of time. But if theworld is born with him, if he has no past on which to draw, then his world isincomplete. On the other hand, to live in time, to feel the rhythm of time, one mustmove from the memory of the past to the unreality of the future. From events thatwere, to events that will be real someday: From reminiscing to anticipating; fromvisions of memory to visions of imagination. To live in time means a commitment toa great past and an unknown future.To facilitate time awareness, Judaism wants man to be free in order to appreciate themoral element of responsibility for emerging events and the anticipation thatinvolves his intervention in the historical process. Judaism teaches that man iscreated free so that he may make central decisions that mold and fashion not onlyhis future, but the future of the world as well. Time awareness requires man tointervene when intervention is called for. That is why the Hagadah commences withAvadim Hayinu that retells our earliest history and concludes with theeschatological vision of Nishmas Kol Chai. One can‘t relive an event withoutconnecting past and future. In order to connect retrospection and anticipation, onemust cherish the present fleeting moment as if it represented eternity. Judaismteaches that each moment is valuable and precious. Each moment is the link betweenthe history of the past and the anticipation of the future. With the fraction of asecond, one may realize life long hopes and aspirations, or he may lose them.That is why the Halacha is so time conscious. Sometimes we might think that theHalachic obsession with time borders on the absurd. But of course it does not. Takefor example, doing work around the boundary of the beginning of Shabbat. One maydo work a minute before sunset. If one does the same act 2 minutes later he is bound21
  22. 22. to bring an Asham Talluy. Is one minute so important that it can now label theperson a sinner? Can the fraction of a second be that important? We see that thefraction of a second is most important to the safety of the Apollo space program. Thesimplest miscalculation could spell the difference between life and death, successand failure. Apparently the Halacha is not alone in the valuation of adherence totime. The fulfillment of the mitzvah to recite Krias Shma in the morning requires thatit must be completed by a certain time. One minute later, the act loses its value.There are many such cases.The Rav mentioned the story of King Saul who failed to comply with the explicitorder of Hashem regarding the complete destruction of Amalek. Saul sought toexplain away his actions without taking responsibility. The monarchy was takenaway from him. On the other hand, upon being told of his sin with Bas Sheva, Davidimmediately accepted responsibility and pleaded for forgiveness and atonement.The prophet immediately informed him that Hashem erased his sin. Why wasDavids plea granted and Sauls rejected? Because Saul argued with Samuel and triedto convince Samuel that he implemented his instructions. Only after Shmueladdressed himself to Saul his final words of rebuke that Hashem has torn away themonarchy from him, only then did Saul admit his failure. But it was to late and hisdestiny was sealed.This is typical of Judaism. Time is critical, not simply hours, but seconds. Timeappreciation is a singular gift granted to free man. He can utilize time to the utmost,he can also waste it. To the free man, time is equated with creativity, growth,opportunity and accomplishment. Time is a gift to the free man, he wants time toslow down. He feels the pressure of so much to do. For the slave, time is a curse. Histime is not his own, it belongs to his master. He is insensitive towards time, life ismotionless to the slave personality. The Rav observed that American Jews, after theypass their fiftieth birthday and the children take over the business, are frustrated thatthey have too much time on their hands. They feel unwanted by their families andunneeded by society. They are gripped with the fear of death. Their lives becomemotionless and meaningless, without focus, like the life of a slave. Torah scholars areinoculated from such psychological turmoil. The study of Torah is always important,whether one is young or old. The study of Torah extends the persons view andreveals new dimensions of existence. The free mans life expresses itself in themotion of physical and intellectual accomplishment, Vzarach Hashemesh UBaHashemesh, the constant striving and re-striving to accomplish. The same cant besaid for the slave. What he neglected to do today can be made up tomorrow. Theslave lacks the great excitement of opportunity knocking on the door and challengesthat summon man to action, of great expectations coupled with the fear of failure.The slave never attempts and never succeeds. Any Mitzva that is inseparably boundup with time is inapplicable to him. The free man time lives a three dimensional life,past present and future, while the slave lives in the flat uni-dimensional present. Nowonder the first cup of the Seder is bound with recital of Kiddush. Kiddushencapsulates the concept of time. Time in the Kantian philosophy is empty, it is aframe of reference, a coordinate system. The same is true of physics, it is quantifiedand measured by space, but it is not real time. Real time cant be quantified. So howcan one correlate the notion of measured time with Kdushas Hayom? KdushasHayom represents a living entity that is sanctified and endowed with creativity thatcant be captured by a simple measurement. The festivals are called Zemanim, times.Time is a blessed entity charged with meaning and sanctity. Thats why the first sign22
  23. 23. of the free man on the night of Pesach is to acknowledge the sanctity of this time,through Kiddush.The Rav explained that even though a woman is not obligated to fulfill time boundMitzvos, she differs from the slave in this regard. The Rav said in the name of hisfather that a woman is relieved of the obligation but if she performs it she isrewarded. Therefore the woman recites a blessing before fulfilling a time boundMitzvah. Her act is as meaningful as that of a man. The woman lives in time eventhough she was relieved of the obligation. The slave is completely removed from theperformance and the reward. Hence his act has no effect.The Rambam inserted in his Hagadah that we begin Magid with the statements thatour forefathers departed Egypt in a hurry. Why is this aspect of haste, Chipazon, soimportant that according to the Rambam it became the focal point of the evening?Because Chipazon means time consciousness. It is the excitement of hurrying, oftrying to catch up, because I miss time, and I want to make sure that I am in aposition to act when the opportunity next presents itself. Chipazon is the attempt tocover distance, to move forward quickly. This is the manifestation of the concept ofliving time. That is why the Rambam includes the statement at the start of Magidthat regarding the haste of our forefathers when they left Egypt 2 thousand yearsago, for it was then that we regained the concept of time, and we became free.The third typological principle is that a slave cant effectuate a marriage. Judaismconsiders marriage not only as a sociological institution but also as a metaphysicalexistential community. It is not only an economic/social partnership of disparatebiological units based on mutual benefit, but as personalistic union. Marriage meansto tear down barriers that separate individuals from each other, to step out of theshadows of egocentricity and self concern and into the bright spaces of jointexistential experience. Marriage is supposed to precipitate the transition from anindividual to communal existence; from a singular existence to living together. Thereare people who cant undergo the shared existential metaphysical change. Theyalways remain in existential retreat, isolated in metaphysical aloneness. They areincapable of sharing basic personalistic experiences and assume ultimatecommitment towards another person beside himself.Among the Sheva Brachos we have 2 similar blessings. The first, Yotzer Haadam, isa short version. We also have Asher Yatzar which also ends in Yotzer Haadam, alonger version. The first blessing does not refer to Eve. The second blessing mentionsthe divine nature of mans character, his relatedness to Hashem. The second blessingalso introduces Eve and describes human nature, that man was created in the imageof God. Why? The first blessing deals with mundane, natural man, as a naturalbeing. The Rav was not referring to the primitive brute. But rather to thesophisticated man, man doctor, man physicist etc., man who is capable of travelingto the moon. It refers to a man that cant transcend himself or see beyond himself. Hecant transcend his natural boundaries and biological pressures. In his opinion thereis nothing beyond nature, he is a prisoner of his own world outlook. Such a personcan never form the ideal covenantal community. He can enter into a marriagecontract for utilitarian pragmatic reasons but he is unable to bring about anexistential community. Such a community is called Binyan Aday Ad in the secondblessing. Only the person who is created in Gods image and can transcend himselfand extend their concern for others is capable of creating a covenantal community.23
  24. 24. The oppressed, tortured and insecure slave lacking a sense of pride, is incapable ofthinking in terms of compassion and love for others. (The Rav was told by inmates inconcentration camps that the concept of love towards siblings and family, andfriendships towards others disappeared in the camps. They did not know whatwould happen in the next minute. They were absorbed with self preservation. Frightextinguishes everything noble and altruistic in a person. Everyone is his enemy, hecant be concerned with the needs of others. The symbol of Geula in the Torah isKorban Pesach. Pesach is distinct from all other sacrifices. The concept of acommunity does not exist by other sacrifices besides Pesach. Yet Pesach has beenlinked up with the concept of group to such an extent that according to one Tanaonly a group may offer the Pesach, an individual may not offer it. Why is Pesachdifferent from all other sacrifices in this regard? Because Pesach is the symbol ofcommunity, it is called Seh Lbays Avos, because freedom expresses itself in theawareness of Bayis, community. This concept of Bayis, community, was revealed tothe Jews with the dawning of their freedom.Now we have a definition of slave and free person as typological categories. Theslave is a frightened personality, living in time without experiencing the movementof time, imprisoned to live by himself without the ability to share his experienceswith anyone else. The free man is just the reverse.Avadim Hayinu LParoh BMitzrayim. What is added by mentioning that we wereslaves to Pharoh in Egypt? There are 2 types of slaves, Sometimes the slave belongsto the individual. Other times the slave is property of the state. In the US beforeemancipation, the slave was the property of the individual master. In the SovietUnion, Nazi Germany, China, there is/was slavery but the slaves were/are ownedby the state. The Hagadah tells us that we were slaves to Pharoh but not slaves toslaves. Why were Chazal concerned whether we worked for the state or were ownedby individuals? After all, both forms of servitude are degrading.When one is a slave to an individual master, at the personal level, some relationshipbetween master and slave may develop. The slave may develop a position of poweror authority within the masters household. He may run the affairs of the house, likeJoseph did in the house of Potifar. However, if the slave is the property of the cruelstate, then no personal relationship is possible. The state and the oppressors of Egyptwere as cruel on the first day of the servitude as they were years later. Slaves of thestate lose their identity and become simply numbers. No matter how long an inmatemay be incarcerated, he remains as unknown to the warden as the day he arrived inthe prison. The life of the serf owned by the government and the lives of the inmatesin the concentration camps and the gulags of Russia shared a common theme of all-consuming torture. Egypt of antiquity and Russia were very similar. Both werecorporate states, technologically capable. In Egypt, the personality of the king wassubsumed and standardized into a common name, Pharoh. There was noindividuality. We dont know which one in particular was the leader. They were allcruel. The Soviet dictators were also indistinguishable from each other. They usedthe same terms and language when referring to their enemies and in their attemptsto dominate those that oppose them. Both were societies based on slavery, (and theRav said that the Soviet systems was a slave society) where the individualitysubmerges and instead of the heterogeneous crowd of a free society you are facedwith an impersonal and cruel society, like that of Pharoh and Mitzrayim.24
  25. 25. ‫במצריִם‬ ְָ ִ ְMore on SlaveryThe answer of Avadim Hayinu, we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, is the answerwritten in Sefer Devarim (Parshas Vaeschanan) that is given to the wise son. We sayVayotzianu, and Hashem took us out of Egypt.The exodus happened thousands of years ago, so why do we include ourselves inthis event? This is the principle of Bchol Dor Vdor: "in each generation" we areobligated to view ourselves as if we just left Egypt. Before we begin to develop thetheme of Yetzias Mitzrayim and its study, we lay down the premise of fullidentification with Jews of past generations and the events they encountered. Notonly do we remember the events, but we relive and reenact, restage and re-experience these events. The Jew is closer to his past and history than any othernation. The best example is his attachment to Eretz Yisrael. The memory of the Jew isboth factual and experiential. Not only do we remember the destruction of thetemple, but we relive it each year during the 3 weeks and on Tisha Bav. The pastdoes not die for the Jew. The focus of our celebration is Vayotzianu, it impacts us asmuch as our forefathers. Chachmay Hakaballah describe the life of man as anexperience of various levels and stages of slavery. Man has many masters in hislifetime, sometimes he himself (unknowingly) is both the master and slave. Throughthe story of the exodus we relive the individual and national redemption.Instead of Avadim Hayinu LPharoh, we might have substituted the phrase AvdayPharaoh, we were the slaves of Pharoh. The latter phrase would imply that the Jewlost his identity, his personality, his quest for freedom. It would give the impressionthat all the Jew knew was slavery and the service of his master. Avadim HayinuLPharoh says that the social status of the Jew was that of a slave to Pharoh. Butslavery was an external manifestation. Internally, the Jew remained the descendantof the patriarchs and yearned for the day that he would be free. We find the phraseAvday Hashem, the slaves of God, which defines the Jew in terms of his totalcommitment to serve Hashem. Slavery can be both a social as well as a psychologicalinstitution. We may have been slaves to Pharoh, but we always resented theservitude. ‫ְַּוֹציאנּו י-ה-ו-ה ֱלהינּו‬ ֵ ֹ‫א‬ ֵ ִ ‫ו‬"Elokeynu"Vayotziyanu Hashem Elokaynu Misham. Why does the Hagadah include the wordElokaynu?We must understand the semantics of the word Elokaynu and the phrase HashemElokaynu. We have the verse Shma Yisroel Hashem Elokaynu Hashem Echad.Hashem has been accepted as our King and whose law we are duty bound to abideby and implement. If the word Elokaynu would have been omitted, the use of thename Hashem (Tetragrammaton) would tell us that Hashem had mercy on us andtook us out of Egypt, just as Hashem intervenes in nature and in various situationsto rescue the oppressed from the oppressor. [Tape cut out momentarily at this point,25
  26. 26. just before the punch line? I am guessing that the Rav completed this thought in thefollowing way] The juxtaposition of the name Elokaynu tells us that there was anaspect of Din, judgment, associated with His actions, punishment for the Egyptiansand the selection of Bay Yisrael as the Am Hashem for eternity. This selection wasbound up with up willingness to submit to God and surrender our new foundfreedom to His will.Is the committed Jew who observes 613 Mitzvos, a free person or not? Of course heis. Apparently we understand freedom from a different level than most people do.When we say MAvdus LChayrus, freedom in our opinion is in the service ofHashem and conforming to His wishes. Hashem created man as a free being, Heendowed man with the most cherished of all gifts: freedom. Yet God wants man tosurrender his precious freedom and submit to His moral law. The first encounterbetween Hashem and man was the instructions given to Adam how to live.Apparently, man who is not bound by any code and has not surrendered to Hashemand His moral code, has not achieved full humanity. Mans task is to surrender hisfreedom, his most precious gift. But by surrendering his freedom, man regains it, butat a higher level.Fundamentally man is not a free being. At the physiological level, man is aconfronted being. Man differs from the animals in the forest in that he is aconfronted challenged being. He is a prisoner of natural laws and social institutions.Disaster can strike at any moment. He is subject to many restrictive measures, somedue to his being a natural creature, while others are the result of his socialintegration. In fact, the greater a persons role, the less his freedom. From thisperspective, the President of the United States is the least free of men. Man is a socialanimal and subject to praise and the opinion of the people. All men, be they slaves orfree men, are subject to restrictions, customs and mores of behavior that make thenotion of free man nonsensical.There is only one way to free man from his many phobias: surrender to Hashem. Inantiquity man was afraid of leprosy. Modern man is still traumatized, but he has adifferent fear, fear of cancer. How many people are traumatized by the fear ofdeveloping this dreaded disease? Man is frightened of this possibility. Thefrightened man is not free. The only way to become free of this fright is through totalsurrender to God. One must have great fear of God as well. But a great fright freesman from little, smaller frights. Surrender to God does not mean surrender offreedom. It means that I must give up my freedom for a short time. For example,there are times that mans natural urges lead him to violate certain laws, for exampledietary or sex/morality. God wants man to surrender his free will in this case for afew seconds, till the urge passes. All man has to do is surrender temporarily to Godand in a short while he will find that he is freer than ever before. If we had beentaken out of Egypt without the attribute of Elokaynu, without accepting His codeand without a willingness to surrender our freedom in order to attain a higher levelof freedom, then we would be in bondage again. Had we exited Egypt withoutsurrendering to Hashem and His laws, we would ultimately have been subjugatedagain by someone else, or by our fears and phobias. ‫משם בָד ח ָקה‬ ָ ‫ִ ָ ְ י ֲז‬"B‟Yad Chazakah"26
  27. 27. B‟Yad Chazakah UBizroah Netuyah. Jewish philosophy is based on the concept ofVhalachta Bdrochav. We must imitate the actions and ways of Hashem. If Hashemused Yad Chazakah and Zeroah Netuyah, we must emulate Him and use it as well.How are we supposed to act when we are called on to act and intervene in historicalsituations?Yad Chazakah means effective action. Zeroah Netuyah means vigilance and beingprepared. The idea expressed is that man is a responsible being. Judaism teaches thatthis responsibility transcends his immediate responsibility for his own actions, it is apart if his spiritual endowment. Man is charged with historical responsibility, KolYisrael Arayvim Zeh LaZeh. Man was called on to shape history towards worthwhileobjectives. There are 2 groups of Mitzvos in Halacha, Tzibbur and Yachid, group andindividual. Mans activism and initiative within the historical drama is thefoundation of Judaism. The individual is called upon from time to time to participatein the emergence and development of Knesses Yisrael. In order to participate in thehistorical drama one must possess two capabilities: 1) always be ready for action; 2)when action is called for, to act effectively.Later on in the text, the Baal Haggadah interprets Yad Chazakah as the plague ofDever. .‫ּוב ְרע נטּוָה‬ ‫ִזֹ ַ ְ י‬"Zeroah Netuya"Zeroah Netuya symbolizes vigilance. There are 2 aspects of vigilance. 1) In order to bewatchful, one must be totally committed and dedicated. Who is watching? Themother is watchful when her child is ill. She is totally committed, watchful and keen.In Tanach we find that Mordechai portrayed such vigilance at its best. Mordechaiwas on guard as soon as Esther was taken to the palace, because he was committedto her just like a father. A worried parent is a vigilant parent. (Children, on the otherhand, are not always worried about their parents. Hence, they cant be described asvigilant.) The totally committed person stands guard against dangerunconditionally. One cant alert someone to danger unless he is concerned. TheJewish community must be vigilant towards Eretz Yisrael and the Orthodoxcommunity in particular must be concerned with the preservation of Torah. Itrequires full commitment. The person who is not vigilant will act too late. 2)Vigilance goes beyond concern. One must possess historical perspective and theability to discriminate between events that are truly critical and require immediateintervention and those that can wait.Mordechai showed sensitivity to history. He had the foresight and prescienceindispensable for crucial decision making. Esther and Mordechai were exchangingmessages. They disagreed to such an extent that Mordechai sent her a very sternwarning. The crux of the disagreement was that Esther felt that she should wait toapproach the king. She had not been summoned to appear before the king. If she actsprematurely she would in all likelihood be killed and then no one will be able tointercede on behalf of the people. Since the edict was issued before Pesach and theenactment of the edict was not due to happen for another year, there would beample opportunity to act over the coming year. After all, over such a long period of27
  28. 28. time she will surely receive an invitation to appear before the king and at that timeshe would plead for the people. Mordechai disagreed and insisted that she actimmediately. Mordechai was obviously right. He was sensitive to the needs of thesituation. It is easy to rationalize secondary decisions of preference, why I like thiscar and not the other one. But when one asks why he is willing to sacrifice his life fora situation or a community, he cannot offer a rational explanation. Suddenly a lightgoes on and I grope towards my destination, to my decision. I know that I willsomehow get there, but I dont know how.Shuvi Shuvi Hashulamis, the gentile people address themselves to Knesses Yisrael.Why do you show such dedication to Hashem and Torah? Come back to us andforget about all of that. Why remain a Jew? Give up your madness and yourunlimited, bizarre commitment. She answers what can I tell you, I am involved in adance between two camps; I cannot free myself from the dance. One cannot be anon-Jew, it is a part of me that I cant explain or rationalize. It is a basic experiencethat cant be explained or changed. It is an eternal commitment that is part of my I-awareness and my existence. Can I explain my relationship to my parents andchildren? I cannot define my existence in terms of a lack of commitment to God, likeyou. I must define it in terms of what I am committed to, to God and His Torah. It isthe central experience and such an experience cant be explained. Mordechai couldnot explain his pressure on Esther, he just knew that eventually he would be provenright. This dance is an eternal dance that the Jewish community is engaged in till thecoming of Moshiach.When the Jew intervenes he must do it with a full heart. The Jewish communitynever undertook half measures in the past. 1. ZeroahThe answer to the Ben Chacham given in Vaeschanan says that Hashem took us outof Egypt BYad Chazakah. The Avadim Hayinu, essentially quotes the answer asgiven in Vaeschanan, and mentions BYad Chazakah, simply described as the mightyhand of Hashem, kvayachol, that punished Pharoh. However it also includes thewords Zeroah Netuyah which are not found in Vaeschanan. These words come fromthe text of Arami Ovayd Avi at the beginning of Parshas Ki Tavo. The Rav askedwhy is this phrase from Arami Ovayd added to the Yad Chazakah that wasmentioned in Vaeschanan as part of the answer to the Ben Chacham presented inAvadim Hayinu?The Rav explained Zeroah Netuyah as the promise that Hashem will repeat themiracles of the exodus for Bnei Yisrael. It represents the promise that Hashem isprepared and ready to protect us from assimilation and annihilation throughout thegenerations and is constantly watching over Bnei Yisrael. Yad Chazakah alone,which connotes the recognition of the miracles Hashem brought in Egypt and toPharoh and our resultant obligation to perform the Mitzvos of Pesach, would havebeen a sufficient answer to the question of the Ben Chacham. The miracles done forus during the exodus from Egypt alone would have been sufficient for us celebratePesach and thank Hashem for that redemption. The Sefer Chinuch describes thesection of Arami Ovayd, the Mitzvah of Bikurim (which contains the term YadChazakah), as an obligation to show Hakaras Hatov, to recognize and thankHashem, for all the miracles and acts of Chesed He has done for us throughout theages. We also tell the Chacham at the seder, as implied by the term Zeroah Netuyah,28

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