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Shabbat Morning Class - Pesah

Rabbi Mansour 2010
Shabbat Morning Class

It is written in the Gemarah thirty days before a holiday we are to start analyzing
and learning the laws of the holiday. We begin with analyzing the Hagadah that we
recite on the night of Pesach. There is a tradition that the Hagadah was written by
Eliyahu Hanavi. This is alluded to in the opening words of Magid (the portion of the
Seder when we start to speak about our exodus from Egypt). The Hagadah begins: ??
???? ???? - the word ?? stands for ????? ????? , we also notice similarities between the
Tana Devei Eliyahu- written by Eliyahu Hanavi and the Hagadah.
On the night of Pesach there is an amazing spiritual boost that the entire Jewish
nation receives. We are lifted up to the highest levels, instantly! Normally when
studying Torah the system is ???? which stands for ??? ??? ??? ??? (simple
understanding, hints, interpretation and exegesis, secrets) this is ascending in order.
We begin with the simple understanding of the Torah on a basic level, and then we
gradually progress until we reach the secrets of the Torah. On the night of Pesach,
Hashem "catapults" us straight to the ??? , we are on the level to understand the secrets
of the Torah without the gradual progression! This is hinted to in the word ??? . The
word that the night is referred to, ??? stands for ??? ??? ??? we go in the reverse order
beginning with ??? . This shows us the great heights we are lifted to on this night and
the great opportunity that we have to understand the secrets of the Torah and to use
them to grow stronger in our spirituality!
???? ?????
???? ????? is one of the most important moments of the Seder. It is when we lift
our cups of wine and declare that over the course of time many nations had tried to
destroy us but Hashem has saved us from their hands. ???? ????? ; "it is this that stood
for us"- what is the word "this" referring to? What was it that insured our existence and
protected us from the evil plans of the nations?? One explanation is that it is referring
to the Torah, the Torah is what protects us and as long as we are connected to the
Torah no harm can befall us. King David had requested of Hashem to tell him the day
he was destined to pass on from this world. Hashem told him: I cannot tell you the
exact day but I will tell you the day of the week and that is a Shabbat. David Hamelech
would learn nonstop from beginning to the end of Shabbat since he knew that it is
impossible for the angel of death to take him while he is learning. When it came to the
Shabbat that he was destined to die the angel of death could not take him until he
caused a noise in the yard. When David Hamelech went to see what the noise was, he
tripped on a step and for a moment he lost his concentration, it was at that second that
the angel of death took him.
There is a story of the Brisker Rav, who during the war in Jerusalem remained in
his bedroom studying Torah. His students had begged him to come down to the bomb
shelter since there were bombs falling "everywhere"! He refused. The students
insisted, saying that it was " ???? ????? " –"life threatening" to stay in his room! He finally
acquiesced to them and went down to the shelter. As soon as he got into the shelter, a
bomb landed in the bedroom he had been studying in and destroyed the entire room.
The Brisker Rav turned to his students and exclaimed, you are "Mazikim" (damagers)!
You owe me the money to fix my room! As long as I was in the room studying I knew
nothing could happen to me and no bomb would fall. As soon as I left the protection
was gone and the bomb hit, why did you force me to leave?!
There is a story told of Rav Moshe Feinstein who was studying Torah in his
apartment on the east side of Manhattan. Suddenly some of his students knocked on
his door and in a panic told Rav Moshe about an accident that had just occurred
outside his building in which a young Jewish boy had been struck by a car! Impossible,
responded Rav Moshe, the boy could not have been Jewish. His students explained
that the boy must have been Jewish, since the witnesses saw a Yarmulke flying in the
air as the boy got hit! Rav Moshe told his students to go investigate and you will see
that the boy was not Jewish. Sure enough, they found out that it was a non Jewish boy
that got hit and the Yarmulke was from a Jewish boy nearby that was running to
escape the speeding car. How did you know? They asked Rav Moshe. Rav Moshe
explained that he had been learning Torah at the time and it was impossible that a
Jew could be harmed in his vicinity or neighborhood while he was learning. We see
from these stories that the Torah is our protection and guarantees our safety and
security. This is hinted in the word ???? which stands for:
?' is for the 6 books of the Mishnah.
?' is for the 5 books of the Torah.
?' is 10 for the 10 commandments in which the entire Torah is hidden
(There are 620 letters in the 10 commandments corresponding to the
613 Misvot and the 7 Misvot added by the Rabbis)
?' is 1 for the oneness of Hashem
???? ????? - the Torah is what stood for us throughout our history.
Another explanation of ???? ????? is that we have a guarantee from Hashem that
we will always survive as a nation. Therefore if someone tries to destroy us all he will
not be successful. However the Goyim unfortunately did have some success in
destroying part of our nation as we see in various periods in our history. The devious
ones of the Goyim knew this secret and therefore only focused on destroying part of
the nation.
This explains why right after ???? ????? we read about what Lavan tried to do to
us by destroying us all ???? ?? ??? - and by contrast Pharaoh who only tried to kill the
male babies. Why would we put Pharaoh in a "good" light in comparing him with
Lavan? The night of Pesach is when we discuss the evilness of Pharaoh? We now
understand that it is actually more devious and evil to focus on destroying only part of
the Jews, as Pharaoh did, rather than to try and annihilate them all. Lavan tried to kill
all the Jews and was not successful in killing one. Pharaoh went for the boys but not
the girls, as the Pasuk says " ??? ??? ????? ", and he did have some success. So in the
end we are not looking at Pharaoh as more righteous than Lavan.
The Megillah begins with the words ???? ???? ??????? -"it was in the days of
Ahashverosh". It says that every time it says ???? ???? it is a ???? ??? -a terminology of
unfortunate events for the Jews. What is the ??? in the beginning of the Megillah? This
Pasuk is referring to the third year of Ahashverosh‘s kingdom and Haman did not come
along until the twelfth year! What was the problem? The problem was in what the
Pasuk tells us next- that Ahashverosh ruled form Hodu to Kush, 127 countries. These
countries comprised the entire world and therefore right away even before anything
happened; the Jews were not in a good predicament. Since in the event that the king
got angry with them they had nowhere to run! Hence ???? ???? . Ultimately however this
turned out to be a good thing for the Jews since we have this guarantee that we will
never be totally annihilated. This is why Haman was unsuccessful in his attempt to
destroy us.
???? ????? it is this guarantee from Hashem of our continued survival as a nation
that stood for us throughout the years to save us.
Another explanation of ???? ????? is that we are referring to the concept of anti
Semitism. There is a Halacha that ??? ???? ?? ???? - Eisav (the Goyim) hate and will
always hate Yaakob (the Jews). No matter if we are close with them or if we stay to
ourselves. We cannot get them to stop hating us. This is a blessing in disguise, since if
they were to embrace us the odds are that we would mingle and intermarry with them
?'? and completely lose our identity as a nation. When the Goyim sense that we are
getting too close to them they push us away, as one great Sadik said: "if we don’t
make Kiddush than the Goyim make Havdallah". Meaning if we are not ???? ourselves
and sanctify ourselves to be different than the goyim instead we try and mix with them
and become like them, than the Goyim will make "Havdallah"-a separation, between us
and that will be discord between us and the Goyim, in order to remind us that we must
not become too close and learn from their ways.
There is a story of the Klozenberger Rebbe in the concentration camp in the time
of the holocaust. There was forty two people in the camp and forty were killed by the
Nazis ??''? , the only 2 left were the Rebbe and another man. The Rebbe turned to the
man and asked; are you Jewish? Yes: he responded. The Rebbe asked again: are you
Jewish? No; he responded this time. Which one is it, asked the Rebbe? The man
explained that he was technically Jewish but has not practiced the religion in many
years. He was from Hungary and there he married a non Jewish woman and had non
Jewish children. What did you do in Hungary? Asked the Rebbe. I, was the minister of
finance, my face was on every bill in Hungary! The Rebbe asked the man; what
happened to your wife? How did she let them take you without trying to stop them?
What about your children, you gave everything for them, where are they? Why weren’t
they fighting to try and get you out?! What about your country Hungary?! Where was
the country you did so much for by strengthening their entire economy?! Was there no
one to lobby on your behalf for your release?! Finally the man broke down and
explained that all his life he was trying to fit in with the Goyim and telling himself that if
anything happened to the Jews he would be safe with his non Jewish family. However
he finally realized that we can never run from Hashem and that no matter what we do
we can never be accepted as one of the Goyim! With this he broke down and repented
whole heartedly. The Rebbe said the ???? with the man and the next day the man was
killed. The Rebbe said "this man is going to Olam Haba, and had I been put through
this holocaust only to save this one Jew, it was well worth it!" We see that the hatred of
the Goyim actually helps to keep us together as a nation, ???? ????? - and this is what
enabled us to stay together as one nation throughout history.
Another explanation of ???? ????? is through a Pasuk that says "????? ???? ??
?????" - "Hashem seeks out the one being chased", which refers to the "underdog".
Hashem always sides with the weak and the ones being oppressed, and the Jewish
nation has been oppressed many times throughout our history. Therefore Hashem is
always with us. It is the concept learnt from this Pasuk that we refer to when we say ???? ?????.
Another explanation of ???? ????? is that there were several laws that the Rabbis
instituted in order to help us keep our distance with the Goyim. Laws such as ?? ????
and ?? ???? .??? ??? is the law that forbids us from partaking in the bread baked by a
Goy in his home. The reason for this decree is to prevent us from "breaking bread" with
the Goyim, and to prevent intermarriage (we see that breaking bread leads to
intermarriage as illustrated in the story of Moshe when he helped the daughters of Yitro
by the well, Yitro told his daughters to call him to "eat bread" which led to Moshe
marrying Siporah, the daughter of Yitro). Another decree was the ??? ??? - which forbids
us to drink wine with the Goyim. This too was instituted to prevent us from getting to
close and "mixing in" with the Goyim, which would jeopardize our existence as a
nation. We lift our cup of wine by ???? ????? to show that it is decrees such as this
regarding wine- ??? ??? that keeps us intact as a nation and insures our continued
existence in the Galut.
One more explanation in ???? ????? is that it is referring to a very special and lofty
goal that we have on the night of the Seder and that is to "lift up" the ????? of Hashem.
The ????? of Hashem is like a connector between us and Hashem. It is like a
"representative" of Hashem that remains with us constantly in our exile. (This is what
Hashem was showing Moshe Rabeinu when he showed himself in a thorn bush – the
thorn bush representing the Galut – that he is with the Jews even in Galut-exile).
The Shechinah is referred to with several names, such as:
???? ?????, ??, ???, ????, ???
???? ????? literally means the "collective Jewish nation". The Shechinah is referred to
as this, since every Jewish person has a "piece" of Hashem inside of them and the
Jewish people is the reason for the existence of the world. When we combine all of the
"pieces" of Hashem that we all contain, we form one collective soul and through the
unity of our collective soul we receive ??? and blessing. The Shechinah is the
connector between us and Hashem through which we receive our blessing and
sustenance to our souls. Therefore it is referred to as .???? ?????
It is also referred to as ?? , literally- mother. Since it is like a father who sends
away his child and sends away the mother with the child in order to care for it. The
father is Hashem and we are the child. The Shechinah is the mother that is sent into
exile with us in order to care for us and when the exile ends she will be .?? ????? ????
The Shechinah is also referred to as ??? , like it says " ??? ???? ?? ???? "- "Rachel
cries for her children". This refers to the Shechinah crying out for us in our long and
bitter exile. This is why the ???? ???? that we recite at midnight to mourn the loss of the
Beit Hamikdash is called ???? ??? . This is why there is an extra special holiness to ???
??? since that is a spot of great concentration of Hashem’s Shechinah.
The Shechinah is also called ???? -a bird [this is hinted to in the Misvah of ?????
??? (the Misvah to rid a bird’s nest of the mother bird and take the baby birds or eggs
away)]. The Pasuk says " ??? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ??? ?? "-"send away the mother
bird and keep the children". The deeper meaning of this Misvah is, we are to send the
"mother bird’, the Shechinah back up to Hashem and when that happens "??? ?????
???" , than the children will be taken by Hashem and redeemed! This is "acting out" the
end of the Galut and this is the reason for the great significance of the Misvah! The
Shechinah is like a bird that goes from nest to nest, never settled since it is in Galut.
It is written in the Petihat Eliyahu that Hashem says "you thought that from the
time the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed that I left you?! It is not so!" The ???? for this is
the Pasuk in Shir Hashirim that says: " ????? ???? ?? "-"my head is filled with dew". How
does this Pasuk show that Hashem is with us in Galut?
There is ten Sefirot ("modes or attributes") they are:
These are all hinted in the name of Hashem of .????
The ???? ?? ??? (crown of the ??? ) corresponds to the ??? - the ??? itself corresponds
to the ???? . The ' ? corresponds to the ???? . The ' ? equals six and refers to the next six
Sefirot. The final ' ? corresponds to the bottom Sefirah which is ????? . The ????? is like
the final "pipe" that the Berachah comes down from. All the other pipes empty into this
one and from this pipe it comes to us. It is the Sefirah that is closest to us and we draw
all of the goodness and ??? -abundance through this Sefirah. Since this Sefirah is the
furthest from the ??? (the highest Sefirah) - it is closest to us and therefore associated
with the Shechinah that resides with us. The result of this is that the final ' ? of
Hashem’s name- which corresponds to the Shechinah is with us in this Galut-exile and
is to a degree "separated" from the rest of the letters of Hashem’s name. We are
currently in Galut –in exile and it is as if we are lying in the dust and the Shechinah is in
the dust with us. Even if we do not feel the exile and we get comfortable in the exile the
Shechinah still remains in the dust and it is our job to lift up the Shechinah and send it
up towards Hashem.
This is hinted to in several places in the Torah starting with Hashem commanding
??? ?????? not to eat from the ?? ???? and to remain in the Garden of Eden: ?????
?????? - "to word and to guard Gan Eden". The words can also read ????-? ?????-? to
work and guard the ' ?, meaning to watch over the ' ?, the Shechinah that it should not
separated from the rest of Hashem’s name. Adam sinned and caused a separation of
the ' ?. That is why the first thing Hashem told Adam after the sin is ???? -"where are
you?" which can also be read ???-? , where is the ' ??! What happened to the ' ?-the
Shechinah?! You separated it by sinning!!! (We also read ???? on ????,???? ??? also
is ???-? where is the ' ? because of the destruction of the temple!). Our job is to
reconnect the ' ? to Hashem’s name and to lift it up from the ??? –dirt. This is hinted to
in what is says to do Misvot ???? the word ???? can also be read ???-? ;meaning to
reconnect the ? to Hashem’s name. This is also hinted to in the word ????? , which can
be read ????-? -lift up the ' ?. As Rashi explains ?? ???? - for my name sake (literally
means to give charity for my name sake). Now we understand another interpretation
that we need to lift up the ' ? for the sake of Hashem’s name, to reunite the ' ? with the
rest of the letters of Hashem’s name! One may think, who am I to lift up the ' ?-the
Shechinah?! The Pasuk continues " ??? ?? ??? ??? ????? ??? "-"anyone whose heart
motivates him" anyone, each and every Jew no matter now big or small can lift up the
Shechinah of Hashem, and can end the Galut. All he needs is to act from his heart with
sincerity! (this concept is illustrated in a story with R’ Zushia from Anipoli, who was
once walking down the street and saw a non Jew struggling to place his hay stack onto
the back of his horse. The Goy asked R’ Zushia to help him get the hay up on his
horse, R’ Zushia answered "I can’t", the Goy answered him you can but you just don’t
want to! Upon hearing the words of the Goy R’ Zushia started to cry. He thought of the
message from ???? that was being transmitted through this Goy. We see the hay,
which is like the ' ?- on the ground- and we say we can’t lift it -but really we can lift it.
We do have the ability to end this exile and to lift up the Shechinah-the ' ?, we just
don’t want to! We don’t want it strongly enough, if we really wanted to lift the
Shechinah nothing would stop us!!)
We say ??? ???? before we do Misvot and in the ??? ???? we say "??? ???? ?????
???? ??? ???????" -"we are doing the Misvah to "connect" the Shechinah to Hashem".
Our whole goal is to " ????? ?????? ????? "-"to lift the Shechinah from the dirt". This is
why it says that we should do Misvot ??? ???? - the word ??? stands for ????? ??????
This answers the question of what the Petihat Eliyahu was referring to when it
said the sign that the Shechinah is with us in Galut is the Pasuk of " ,"????? ???? ??
since the numerical value of the first three letters of Hashem’s name (without the final
?' ) spelled out is 39 =???-??- ??? . The final ' ? is "missing" since it is with us in the Galut.
Therefore, the word ?? -which equals 39, shows us that Hashem only equals -39 ?? and
awaits the final ' ?- the Shechinah, to be reunited with him.
This is the depth behind what our intentions are by lifting the cup by .???? ?????
??? as mentioned refers to the Shechinah. A ??? - cup – is something that is empty until
you fill it , and depending on what you pour into the cup is what it will contain, likewise
the Shechinah, it is like an empty receptacle that we need to fill up (by doing Misvot
etc.) and only when we "fill it" will it dispense Berachah.
??? is numerically 86, which is also the numerical value of -86 ????? . We lift up our
??? and have the intention of lifting up the Shechinah! This is the entire focus of the
Seder night to lift up the ' ?- the Shechinah (we begin the Seder by saying ?? ???? -by
addressing the ' ?!). The Shechinah "shouldered the burden" with us and thereby took
off some of the years of our exile as we say: " ????? ???? ??? ??? ?? ??? " (literally:
Hashem calculated the end)- Hashem took of -190 ?? years off of the 410 that we were
supposed to work by being with us in the Galut and "working" with us. As the Pasuk in
Tehilim says:" ??? ???? ???? "-"I am with you in your suffering".
We lift the cup with both hands, the right hand signifies ??? -kindness, and the left
hand signifies ??? -judgment. We then transfer the cup into our right hand to signify the
??? turning into ??? [this is one of the meaning of the Pasuk ' "??? ?????? ??? ???? ?
????" -first it is ??? -(which equals ???'? )]. When we lift it with both hands then we
transfer it to the right hand-the hand of ??? . That’s why the Pasuk finishes "???? ?-?-?-?
????" , we end up calling only in the name of Hashem of kindness.
We lift the ??? by ???? ????? with the intent ????? ?????? ????? –to lift the
Shechinah that has been with us throughout the exile and has enabled us to endure
this long Galut. May we be Zocheh to lift the ' ?, to lift up the Shechinah from the
ground, to reunite it with ????? ???? ??? and to believe in ourselves that we indeed
can end this exile and bring the .????
????? ????? ???!

Parashat Behaalotecha- Rectification is Always Possible
Parashat Naso- Emuna First
Shavuot- Celebrating the Eternal Torah
Shavuot- The Challenge – and Rewards – of Torah Commitment
Parashat Behar- Experiencing the Sweetness and Delight of Torah
Parashat Emor- Keter Shem Tob 'The Crown of Good Reputation'
Parashat Ahare Mot- Planting Our Spiritual Trees
Parashat Shemini- Respect and Reverence in the Synagogue
Pesah: Redemption Then and Now
Pesah- Its A Mirage
Parashat Vayikra- The Triple Sin of Dishonesty
Parashat Pekudeh- Counting the Things That Matter
Parashat Ki Tisa- The Sanctity of Every Jew
Purim and the Sale of Yosef
Parashat Terumah- The Torah’s “Footsteps”
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1002 Parashot found