Monday, April 12, 2010

Pesach - Afterthoughts

I know it's a little late but I just wanted to share two really nice thoughts on Pesach and the haggadah from R' Shimshon Pincus zt"l. I wanted to post them a while ago but it's been really busy and I finally got a chance to sit down and type them up. I figured, better late than never, right?!

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Pesach is the time of the birth of Klal Yisroel. Just like when a baby is born, all the nurses and doctors are running around, making sure everything is fine and there is no dirt around - all the tools are sterile and clean, when Pesach comes and we are about to be born anew, we must make sure there is no dirt, no yetzer hara around. And so we run around cleaning our houses and making sure there is not a speck of dirt to be found. We clean our houses thoroughly. When cleaning, we are getting rid of the yetzer hara inside of us. That is why it is so important not to even have one bit of chometz in the house and the punishment is so severe. A newborn baby who is treated with anything less than perfectly clean utensils can catch an infection chas v'shalom. Everything has to be sterile because the baby's immune system is not built up yet.

Since we are building ourselves into a person (and Klal Yisroel into a nation), we must start from scratch - from the beginning. And we must make sure there is no dirt, only purity and cleanliness.

During the seder, we go through many different steps to build ourselves as a person. That is Pesach, the time when we are born.

Then comes Shavuos-the bar mitzvah when we accept the mitzvos upon ourselves. But in order to receive the Torah, we have to prepare ourselves for it. That's what sefira is about. It's a time to prepare ourselves for kaballas haTorah. Each day, we can climb a rung in the spiritual ladder so when Shavuos comes, we are ready to accept the Torah.

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Another interesting thing I read in R' Shimshon Pincus's hagaddah was on the paragraph of "Amar Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria, harei ani k'ven shiv'im shana" Rabbi Elazar the son of Azaria said, I am like someone who is seventy years old. Why was he like a seventy year old man? Because he was really eighteen years old but overnight Hashem made him grow a white beard so he should look like an older man and then people will accept what he would say.
Hashem made him grow a white beard. What's the difference between a black beard and a white beard, or the colors black and white?

The color black is a mixture of all the other colors. When a little child takes his crayons and colors a whole bunch of colors on a paper, it ends up one dark color - black. When a person is young, he has a black beard which signifies the reasons why he may do something spiritual. For example, a young man decides he wants to learn Torah. So why is he learning? He has a lot of different reasons. Maybe he wants to become a rosh yeshiva. Maybe he wants a good shidduch. Maybe he wants kavod, so people will look at him and say, "Wow! Did you see what a masmid he is?" and then he'll feel good inside. Maybe he wants to impress his childrens' future mechutanim and then his children will get good shidduchim.

The color white, on the other hand, is the purest color. It represents old age because at that point, a person doesn't have all these "other reasons" for doing mitzvos and spiritually uplifting acts. The old man knows he has no chance of becoming a rosh yeshiva anymore. Kavod?! Everybody knows who he really is! His children are already married so he has no one to impress. So why is he learning? Because Hashem said it's a mitzvah to learn His holy Torah!! This man doesn't have any outside factors influencing his decision of why he wants to do the mitzvos. He is nearing the end of his life and so his actions are pure and white - which is symbolized by the white beard.

I thought this was such a cool thing - it's so amazing that you can learn human nature from the haggadah!!

Anyone else have any interesting thoughts on Pesach or divrei torah they remember that they want to share?

1 comment:

  1. this was beautiful, thank you soo much!!


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