In the spirit of fours…Four quick Mini Reflections on Pesach
1. As I sit by my computer considering the mountain of work (and the molehill of time) that still lies before me, one phrase keeps pounding my consciousness – a sign from the Beis Medrash of my youth – ein kedusha bli hachana. There can be no sanctity without preparation. Pesach is the culmination of a coordinated, frenzied and massive effort by every traditional Jewish household. (with apologies to the hotel-goers). Pesach proves that there are no cheap thrills – only earned (albeit spontaneous) moments.
2. That which can’t become chametz can not be used for matzah (as a general rule). Yet, once each item achieves its respective status it is impossible for either to ever be the other. No matter how much water you add to matzah – it will never become chametz and no matter how hard you try to crush the chametz – it can never become matzah. At some point, the effect of our life decisions becomes irreversible. Thankfully, every year we can make matzah again; A Jew never gives up hope.
3. We call it Pesach (colloquially) and Hashem calls it Chag Hamatzos (in the Torah)? The Berditchever famously explained: Pesach is what Hashem did for us. Chag Hamatzos is the great leap of faith that we did for the love of God. Our tefillin say Shema Yisrael and His “tefillin” say mi k’amcha Yisrael (who is like Thy nation, O’ Israel?). On Pesach night, we sing Shir Hashirim. I am for my Beloved and He is for me. At the risk of sounding corny … Have you told God you love Him lately? Ever looked to see His manifest love in your life? Pesach may be a good time to try.
4. We eat the Matzah and then the Maror – even though we experienced the maror (servitude) first?! Sometimes a worm in chrain (horseradish) doesn’t know how bad he has it (until he tastes the honey)! A nation anesthetized to servitude can not pine for freedom. A people that finally taste freedom can only then begin to fathom how bad it was. For those of us afraid to make the leap (whatever it may be) – because its not so bad – how do you know?
Ah Zeesen, Ah Freilichen. Ah Kasheren And Ah Simcha’dik Pesach
B’vracha, Asher Brander
Rabbi Asher Brander is the Rabbi of the Westwood Kehilla, Founder/Dean of LINK (Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel) and is a Rebbe at Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.