Beit Midrash

  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Passover - Pesach
To dedicate this lesson



Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Nisan 13 5778
The beginning of the Exodus process can be traced from that moment, on 10 Nisan, when each family of Bnei Yisrael took a lamb, held it for 4 days, & then slaughtered it & smeared the blood on their door posts. The Hagada indicates this was the sign which allowed Hashem to "pass-over" those homes when administering the final plague, the killing of the first-born.

But did the all-seeing G-d really need a "sign" in order to know who had or had not kept his command to offer up the lamb?

Fast-forward now to near the end of the Hagada. There, in a dramatic gesture, we fill Eliyahu’s cup, open the door for the prophet of Moshiach, & rise to recite a short but controversial prayer ("Sh’foch Chamotcha"), in which we
bid Hashem to destroy the nations that have rejected G-d & brutalized the Jewish People. Fittingly, the Psalm in the Hagada which immediately follows this prayer (115) ridicules the idolaters, who "should become deaf, dumb & blind, just like their idols."

Is this not somewhat of a harsh way to conclude the Pesach Seder, which, in it’s closing section, speaks of our longing for the glorious Messianic Age & Israel’s revival, as in "L’Shana Haba’a B’Yerushalayim?"

I suggest that the message being sent to us is that, while we surely need Hashem’s help & guiding hand, we also need to step up & play our own part in the Redemption. And a crucial component of that participation is having the guts, the courage to stand up to the immoral & oppressive forces that abuse us & all that we stand for.

By taking the blood of the Egyptian deity – no small act of courage - our ancestors showed Hashem that we had more faith in Him than we had fear of Pharoah. The blood, Rashi says – contrary to popular opinion - was placed on the INSIDE of the doors & not the outside. Thus, while it sent a clear message to G-d that we were willing to risk our lives to show our allegiance to Him, it also reminded us that we had returned to our former status as a proud, defiant People. Our slavery of the spirit was over.

So, too, our willingness to stand up – with the door wide open - & demand justice on the nations that "consumed us" is a similar sign that we are no longer helpless, hapless victims, forbidden from expressing our opinion & forced to take whatever the Diaspora dishes out to us.

The ultimate expression of our freedom? It is confidently standing up to the world & unabashedly claiming our rightful place in the State of Israel. That door, too, is wide open, waiting for all of Jewry to get up & walk right in.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר