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PESACH - THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS IN LIFE


UNDERSTANDING GOLUS AND GEULA

THE DICHOTOMY OF THE SEDER

THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS IN LIFE


It is known that the Yom tov of Pesach is all about EMUNA. The experience of Mitzraiem, from our affliction of GOLUS to our GEULA-redemption, we see and learn Emuna in Hashem. All the Mitzvos and practices we do by the seder are all geared to teach us, and instill in us, lessons in Emuna. The “AVODA” of Pessach is to strengthen our selfs in Emuna and Bitochon.


There are two PARTS to Emuna 1] to believe that Hashem is the Borai -that he created the world. 2] to believe that Hashem is the Manhig-that he runs the world to the last detail. Shabbos represents that Hashem “Created” the world while Pessach represents that Hashem “Runs” the world. This is the intent of the Possuk “ANOCHI HESHEM ELOKECHA ASHER HOTZAISICHA M’ERETZ MITRAIEM” Yetzias Mitzraim is the proof that Hashem is both “Hashem” as well as “Elokecha” the master of “ALL” that happens. ה׳ Midas Harachamim- master of all good things that happen in this world as well as אלוק׳ך Midas H’adin master of all punishment that comes to happen in this world, for Hashem is not only “BORAI” but also “MANHIG” to the last detail.


This maybe the underlying debate between the CHACHAMIM and the TZ’DUKIM in the translation of the words “ME’MOCHRAS HASHABOS” used in the Torah eluding to the time we are to begin counting the Sefiras Haomer. The Chachomim translate it to mean the day after Pessach while the Tzidukim are adamant it to mean the day following the regular shabbos-the one that comes after the six days of the week.For to the Chachomim shabbos and pessach are not separable, as we say in the first Ani Mamin that we believe that hashem is both “Borai” and “Manhig”-together as one word. while the Tzdukim, the heretics, want to separate the concept of Shabbos and Pessach…the belief of Hashem as the Borai and that Hashem is also the Manhig…


What does it to mean to have EMUNA that Hashem is the Manhig?


It is clear that there is a big deference between one “saying” he believes that Hashem is the Manhig and one actually “living” that way….its is easier to say it while it is much much harder to actually conduct ones life and all his affaires with this belief…


Man sociologically is programmed to have the need to control his own destiny and all his affairs. To surrender this concept and believe that he is not the boss over himself and his life is extremely against his nature. Admitting that Hashem, and hashem alone, is the sole BOSS is the AVODA of a Yid in fulfilling his Chiyuv Emuna.


Paroah was taught a big lesson about Manhig- that Hashem is the Manhig the one who dictates and runs all mans affairs. As chazal tell us Paroah convinced himself he was a God the supreme ruler of his nation. Yet in the beginning of Parshas Bo Hashem instructs Moshe Rabainu to tell paroh that he,Hashem, has hardened his hart, taking away his BECHIRA from him. Paroh now has no free choice to do what he wants.He has no control over his actions. For a man who was convinced that he is G-D-the boss, what he says goes, what he wants happens, now isn’t even able to control his own thoughts or actions!

This explains the continuation of the Possuk “In order that you should tell over how i made ridicule and mockery in Mitraiem” for could you imagine the great ruler paroh- who believed that he is a deity-supreme ruler with sole control of this great empire the powerful Mitzraim, is actually a man who doesn’t even have control over himself…what irony…


On Paroeh we can apply the famous Yid’esha saying “AH MENTCH TRACHT UN GUT LACHT….


We to, all of us, at some point and at times, more often then not are guilty of the folly of Paroeh. We over think and calculate our every move as if we are the boss, in control to dictate our future and our success. But in reality we are making a mockery of our selfs, for in all truth though we are not exactly like Paroeh whose Bechira was taken from him, we do have Bechira, nevertheless that dictates very little of our future and our success the Ribbon Shel Olam is the Boss…one of the lessons of Mitzraiem and pessach is this Hashem is the Manhig we have very little say… let it go, leave it in his hands, less Cheshbonos more EMUNA !! How much happier would we all be if we trusted in hashem and put ourselves in his hands knowing that he is our loving TA’TE IN HIMEL who knows whats good and best for each one of his children.


At the pessach seder we sit BHESAIVA-reclining. The Mishna teaches “EVEN THE POOREST JEW MUST RECLINE”. Hesaiva symbolizes and portrays freedom, royalty, living lavishly, all the things the poor man has none of is this not irony an act of folly? [The Rashbam does emphasize that the Ani sits Bhesaiva “ZECHER” LCHAIRUS, but see Brisker Rav that Hesaiva is for now for on the night of pesach all must feel free like kings]


Possibly the answer can be found in the understanding of a perplexing YERUSHALMI that states; from where do we know that even the poorest must sit Bhesaiva for it is written in the Torah that when the Yiden left Mitraim “VAYASEV ELOKIM ESS HA’AM DERECH HAMIDBAR” VAYASEV- Hashem circled them around in the dessert.The question is obvious the word VAYASEV of the Possuk has nothing to do with HESAIVA-RECLINING? The answer may lay in the deeper meaning of the Yerushalmi The ANI as we pointed out has a rough life how and why should or could he sit “Free” as if with out a worry or problem in life…The answer Vayasiev-look how Hashem encircled the Yiden in the Midbar they to were perplexed full of fear and doubt of their futuree and survival. Why are not being instructed and led to flee further but on the contrary almost returning to Paroeh and Mitzraiem. But the reality was that Hashem who knows better and as the Possuk clearly states that Hashem had a CHESBON and a master plan. with was for their Benefit.and as the Possuk convoys that Hashem said so “KI KOROV HU”- and as Medroshim intrepid that Hashem is KOROV- close to his children KLAL YISRAEL.The Ani to is frustrated and anxious that he is “GOING IN CIRCLES” always coming back to his pain and suffering and never “KRICHING AROYSE” he should nevertheless internalize the lessons of Mitzraiem and find in his hart a feeling of security and freedom in his situation and his life with EMUNA that Hashem has a plan for him as well, that is for his good….While sitting at the seder B’hasaiva one should think of this Yessod it will defiantly bring one to more happiness in his life…


One of the key elements of SIPUR YETZIAS MITZRAIM is to elaborate on the “MIDA KNEGED MIDA” of the Makos and all what happened in Mitraiem. The Medroshim are full with understanding and explanation of not only what happened but why…”PRECISELY” why..[this possibly can be the intent of the Rambams words “whoever elaborates in the events that HAPEND and that WERE is praise worthy ” for it is not enough to retell what happened but it is also needed to fill in how and why exactly it happened] This is all part of the lesson of “MANHIG” that Hashem RUNS the world to exact CHESHBON to the last detail…This to may bring solace in our difficult lives and happiness through hard and trying times, understanding and focusing on the EMUNA that there is a Cheshbon….one that is tailor made for us and our benefit..


Part of the acceptant and belief of “MANHIG” is to understand and open our eyes to all the YAD HASHEM that is interjected in our lives.We go about our daily lives with oversight of all the “MIRACALS” that silently and unnoticed happen to us, and around us. Shabos Hagadol is dedicated in remembrance of the”NESS HAGADOL”-the “BIG MIRACLE”.The Yiden took the sheep in preparation to slaughterer the Korban Pessach while the Mitzriem were “FORCED” to stand by and watch even though it was there Avoda Zara. Why is this “THE BIG MIRACLE”? was this more then the miracle of the Makos? is this so much more miracles then water turning into blood? Further more what stoped the Mitzriem from halting the Yiden from taking their Avoda Zara, how were they “FORCED” to stand idle and accept it? I have asked this question to many never getting a clear answer. possibly the answer is the question itself “NOTHING” there was nothing that actually physically stoped them.What held them back was “because”…because hashem wanted so…this is the greatest miracle “That what Hashem wants and decides, happens! for Hashem is the “MANHIG”…HANHAGAS HATEVA IS THE GREATEST miracle of all…As we say in MODIM three times a day Val Nisecha “SHEBCHOL YOM EMONU”…[ this possibly could be the intent of the words of the Rambam “It is a Mitzvah to retell the”NISIM” and the “NIFLOS” that happened to our fathers in mitzraiem” what is the difference between NISIM and NIFLOS ? according to the above: Niflos are the wonders beyond Teva while Nisim are the miracles of YE’SHUOES masked in Teva.] Realizing through our EMUNA that Hashem watches over us more then we know and realize, and how much he maneuvers all the world around us to protect us will definitely bring a person deep simcha.


Pesach and the entire Seder is all about CHAIRUS- FREEDOM what is Chairus? What does it really mean to be free? We must ask ourselves are we truly free, for though we are not “ENSLAVED” literally and physically but whom among us walks around and goes to sleep each night without burden of life and free of pain and worry….


In Tefilos Mariv each night we say “AND HE TOOK OUT HIS NATION YISROEL FROM WITHIN THEM[Egypt] “L’CHAIRUS OLAM” it does not say simply L’chairus but rather L’chairus “OLAM”.What does Chairus OLAM mean and how is it different then plain Chairus? [The Brisker Rav deals with this question and explains that we were granted to never again be “slaves” as we were in Egypt. Chasidesher Seforim explain Chairus Olam to mean a spiritual freedom as in “OLAM” HABA ]


Humbly i would present to explain Chairus OLAM to mean FOREVER-where ever, whenever, in any given time and in any given place under any given situation, through out the generations to the end of time till Mosiach. For no nation or oppression can ever “CAPTURE” our spirit and our soul. We are not MESHUBED to any outside force and power nothing can “ENSLAVE” a YID robing him of his PN’IMIYUS and his Essence. [This is MEDUYEK in the words VEILU LO HOTZI etc. “MESHUBUDIM” Huyinu L’paroeh it doesn’t say “AVADIM” but “MESHUBADIM”]


Every morning a yid makes a BRACHA “SHLO ASANI AVED” do we have slavery in our times? Is this Bracha relevant to us in our Society? The answer is yes most definitely for most of the peoples of the world are “Enslaved” to either their TAVOS or the influence of their friends, neighbors, and their societies. A Yid is free to follow his Neshama wants and needs, being Misdabaik to the T’ATE IN HIMMEL and to learn Torah and keep the Mitzvos. As Chazal state in the Mishna in AVOS “There is no one more free then one who is emerged in torah”


There is a beautiful Pshat from the late KROKEVER RAV (Rav Yosef Nechemia Kornitzer) on the opening of the Hagada “AVADIM HAYINU L’PAROEH”. The Gemara states that the Hagada must begin with GENUS-something degrading for us. How is us being enslaved our degradation we were forcibly enslaved not by choice. Our enslavement is the GNUS of the Metzriem that enslaved us not ours? He answers: that we succumbed to the enslavement is our GNUS !! If we were strong in who we are no physical enslavement or force can subordinate us. The fact that we were indeed Avadim to Paroeh…that it had an effect on us… that Paroeh was able to override our spirit and break our will is our GENUS….


What creates this FREEDOM which gives the Yid the ability to “IGNORE” the world blocking out all the outside forces and troubles that way down and hinder most peoples and would no doubt drowned and vanquish most other nations?The answer is for the Yid “CAN LIVE WITH THE AIBSHTER !!! The Yid lives in a different world he lives in the Ribono Shel Olams world with the Ribbon Shel Olam…In that world there is no strife or pain, in that world there is no darkness and confusion, only warmth, light, and clarity…


The CHASAM SOFER writes something fascinating: The Torah tells that when Hashem instructs Moshe Rabainu to go to Mitzraim to lead the Yiden to freedom. Moshe Rabainu asks what if the Yiden ask me who is Hashem what is his name what should i tell them. Hashem replies tell them “I WILL BE THE ONE THAT I WILL BE” writes the Chasam Sofer that it was shown to him in a dream the writings of the Ramban who explains the response of Hashem to mean “I WILL BE WITH THE ONE WHO TAKES ME TO BE WITH HIM”. This says the Chasam Sofer is the Avoda and theme of GOLUS to take HASHEM with you in the Golus through all the concealment and bitter darkness.


A story is told about the late KAPISHNITZER REBBE. The Rebbe was entered by the NAZIS in AUSTRIA. In order to embarrass and degrade the Rebbe the Nazis forced him to lay on the street sidewalk and scrub it clean with a mop. The sainted Rebbe did as commanded he lied on the street cleaning, all the wile singing beautiful NIGUNIM, completely unfazed and oblivious to his Nazi captors and their vicious laughter. When the Chasidim asked how did this not affect the Rebbe? how was the Rebbe able to sing at such a time? The Rebbe responded: they are enjoying this because they think I am cleaning their streets and they are making me into a janoter…i am enjoying this because I view it differently, that I am Zocha to clean Hashem’s beautiful world…..


Thats what it means living in Hashem’s world with Hashem…In that world no Paroeh nor Nazi can effect the Yid.


The Pesach Seder is a comprised with a series of complex contradictions, a DICHOTOMY. On one hand we eat the Matzah, we drink the Arba Kosos,we sit B’hasaiva reclining all commemorating GEULA and freedom. On the other hand we eat Maror, we eat Karpas that we dip it in salt water which is like tears, all to commemorate GOLUS and afliction. And if that is not enough contradiction, notice that each thing itself that we eat to commemorate Geula also commemorates the Golus. The Matzoh is the bread that symbolizes our hasty redemption from Mitzrayim yet at the same time it also symbolizes LACHMA ANYA DE ACHALA B’MITZRAIEM.[The Chasam Sofer explains “YACHATZ” why we break the middle Matzah into two halves to demonstrate that the Seder which is based on the Matzah is comprised of two parts, two SEDARIM-two sections, 1.the Golus and Shibud 2. the Yetizia and Geula]


The four cups of wine we drink is intended to portray Chairus and yet we find in the Halacha that it is preferred that the wine should be red wine over white wine. One of the reasons given for this is, to symbolize and remember all the jewish blood spilled in Mitzraiem, especially that of the children that were slaughtered for Paroahs baths.[see Ohr Zarua, Taz, and M”B] Isn’t all this extremely contradictory?!


To add to the complexity of the contradictions of the seder let us turn to the Halacha of how all the Mitzvos of the night must be eaten B’hsaiva- or not. Maror that clearly with out a doubt is strictly intended to symbolize and commemorate the bitter and the GOLUS.if one would be asked if it may be eaten B’hsaiva-reclining he would definitely respond for sure not! Yet the Halacha is one MAY do H’esaive when eating the Maror [M”B—see though Aruch Hasulchan that argues that it is only B’dieved] How and why can one Halachicly eat Maror B’hesaiva?


Let us continue with another Halachic observation. The KARPAS is in commemoration of the SAMACH PERACH, the 60000 jews enslaved in Mitzraim.we customarily dip the Karpas vegetable in salt water symbolizing all the tears shed in Mitzraiem. Yet do we eat the Karpas B’hesaiva is subject to a big dispute amongst the Posskim. The AVUDRHAM is of the opinion that one does eat the Karpass B’hesaiva. KARPAS B’HESAIVA?! but the Karpas symbolizes the torture of the Yiden in Mitzraem?! [MARAN RAV ELYASHEV ZT”L deals with this quistion]


Add to all the above, the Halacha of how to eat Korach. Korach is a mixture of Matzah that is symbolic of Geula and Maror which is in remembrance of our bitter affliction. Are we to eat the Korach B’hesaiva because of the Matzah and the Chairus it represents or are we to eat it with out H’esaiva because of the Marror and the affliction it represents? What a contradiction the two opposite extremes in one, how do we reconcile them? [See TUR in the name of his brother R’ Yechiel]


Interestingly L’MASEH we do He’saiva when eating Korach because of the Matzah [see Shulchan Aruch 475:1 and M”B 23] Yet the Maharil opined that we don’t make H’esaiva because of the Maror. The Shulchan Aruch Harav concludes that if one didn’t do H’esaiva by Korach he is yotzai for there is merit to the opinion that due to the Maror we don’t do H’esaiva.


The answer to all the above questions is: Pessach, the seder, the Matzhos are all about EMUNA…EMUNA…EMUNA… with Emuna all pain, suffering, and troubles of GOLUS are not only Manageable, but are even redeeming and Spiritually elevating. Through the eyes of Emuna one “SEES” things differently and “UNDERSTANDS” things deeper…To the point that one can turn Golus and all of its hardships and Nisyonoss into GEULA…


KORACH symbolizes the era of GOLUS that we find ourselves in. When we say ZECHER L’MIKDASH K’HILEL we are remembering and bemoaning that today we do not have a Bais Hamikdash for we are in Golus.


{The Brisker Rav explains that there are two forms of Zecher L’mikdash one is to remind us that we “HAD” a Bais Hamikdash and one to remind us that today we “DONT HAVE” a Bais Hamikdash. Taking the Luluv and Esrog seven days of S’ukoes is to remind us that we had a Bais Hamikdash and what was done there. While Sefiras Haomer we count, to remind us that today in Golus we do not have a Bais Hamikdash. It is for this reason we don’t make a SHECHIYANU on the mitzvah when we recite the Sefiras Haoemer. For we count Sefira to remind us that we don’t have the Bais Hamikdash therefor it is not in-order and in place to say on this time and mitzvah SHECHYUNU…}


The eating of Maror together with Matzoh is quit appropriate to us in our times as we are plagued with the difficult days of Golus and its suffering. The message and lesson of KORACH is MAROR-SUFERING together with MATZOEH- EMUNA = H’ESAIVA-Chairus…..


The Medrash tells us that Mosiach will lead us back to Eretz Yisrael after the culmination of the GOLUS.Before passing into Eretz Yisrael the Yiden will go over a mountain called “AMANA” look back at the Golus and praise and thank Hashem.The meaning of this Medrash is possibly everything we spoke, for the greatest gift we as Yiden have in GOLUS is EMUNA. Our Emuna in Hashem through out the Golus is not only our survival….but it gives us meaning and even spiritual elevation and satisfaction in all the pain and suffering…and for this we will say praise and thanks to Hashem….It is like wise possible that on the night of Pesach when we say HALAL we are actually saying HALEL on both the Golus and the GEULA of Mitzraiem….


My Brother R’ Avrhom once showed me a beautiful story about the KLAUZINBERGER REBBE ZT”L [printed in Torah Tavlin]. In April 1945,a few days before WWII officially ended, the allies liberated the Muldorf concentration camps in which the rebbe had been imprisoned for over nine months. After the initial shock freedom and liberation, the survivors were transported via military trucks to the Feldafing DP camp near Munich, Germany. As they stood on line waiting to board, the Klausenberger Rebbe suddenly turned to the man next to him and said ‘please hold my place on line. I forgot something in the barracks, I will be right back!’ The man looked at the Rebbe with incredulity. ‘What could you have possibly forgotten in this terrible place? The sooner we leave here the better!’ But the Rebbe insisted and hurried away. Twenty minutes later, the Rebbe reappeared and boarded the waiting truck. When asked repeatedly, “Rebbe, vos hut ir shion fargessen?”(What did you forget?) He refused to answer and the matter remained sealed until many years later, when the same individual came to visit the klaussenberger Rebbe, in the U.S and reminded him of the incident.This time the Rebbe looked at him and nodded. ‘I will tell you what happened that day’ said the Rebbe. ‘So many yidden lost their lives and so many suffered horribly. The war was especially cruel to me. I lost my wife and eleven children. I lost thousands of chassidim. I was beaten starved and slaved. I had nothing left in this world - except for the Ribono shel olam. Every single day, I Davend to him and cried my eyes out. As per the Halacha, I set aside a specific place in the barracks - “A Makoam Kavua”- were I Davened and felt the love and protection of the almighty. But as we were standing online to leave the camp, I suddenly realized that I would never stand in my Makom Kavua again, that place were I felt hashem, were i connected to hashem - as hard as it was for me in MULDORF, I wanted one more moment there, alone with the BOREI OILAM, to conjure up that feeling of closeness I shared with him, to take with me for the rest of my life! That is were I went on that day ,concluded the Rebbe, as he wiped away a tear.


The Seder is a “Mussar Seder” in Emuna…Just like there are Sedorim in Yeshiva to learn Gemara Be’iyun the Pessach “SEDER” is to HOREVA AND SHTIEG in Emuna…Through the eating of the Matzah, Maror, Karpas and the drinking of the Arba Kosos accompanied with the saying of the Hagada one internalizes in himself Emuna and its Yesodos, strengthening his Emuna as the night progresses. [This is what is meant by the Chasidesher Seforim when they write that the night of Pesaach is Rosh Hashana for Emuna]


Chasidesher Seforim “movingly” portray the seder as a DIALOGUE between the jew in Golus and Hashem.The seder is a forum in where the Yid searches for meaning and answers to hard and painful questions that lurk deep in his broken and painful hart. The Yid loves and believes in his TATE IN HIMMEL…and therefor has so many excruciating and difficult maters that are hard to understand, How GOLUS… Why Golus?! Homiletically this is the meaning says the Hailiger Stoloner Rebbe-Bais Ahron what is stated in the MISHNA before the MA NISHTANA “V’KAN HABEN SHOEL A’VIV” the Ben is also referring to each and every jew who asks his TATE IN HIMEL Ma nishtana.. why is Golus….[This may explain the custom of many, that the father to repeats the Ma Nishtane, even though all the children have already said it]


The Rama(480:1) writes that the custom is to open the door of the house before pouring the forth cup and saying Shefoch Chamoscha, to portray that tonight is “L’AIL SHEMURIM” and therefor we are safe and secure with no fear or reservations to unlock and open our front doors. The Rama concludes that it is in the Zechus of this Emuna that we will merit the coming of Mosiach. The Bais Haleivi asks why not open our doors in the beginning of the night, at the start of the seder, to express our Emuna and Bitochon in hashem and his Havtacha of L’ail Shimurim.


[The Bais Haleivi answers that the appropriate time to portray our lack of fear is before we pour the fourth cup which is ZUGOS- and may cause the Mazikim to harm us. see gemara Pesachim 109]


We can answer that the Havtacha of L’ail Shimurim takes affect through the “progression” of the seder as a result of all the Emuna that we accumulate with the Matzohs, Maror and all the Mitzvos Halayla…. For it is through the whole of the seder, step by step, that we become stronger in Emuna and by this more and more connected to Hashem thus meriting Hashems Havtacha of “EHEYA ASHER EHEYA- I will be with the one that takes me to be with him”… Which was our protection and sustainment in Golus Mitzraiem (as mentioned above from the Chasam Sofer in the name of the Ramban) as well as all future GOLUS and just as it was the key to our Geula from Mitzraiem so to it is what will merit us the coming of Mosiach and the final Geula.

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