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Pesach

By Rabbi Label Lam

"HaKol B'Seder!"

Blessed is the One Who keeps His promise to Israel, blessed is He. That the Holy One, Blessed is He, calculated the end, just like He told Avraham our father at the covenant between the parts, as it says, (Breishis 15:13-14) "And He said to Avraham, 'Know with certainty that your children will be strangers in a land not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them four hundred years, and also the nation that oppresses them I will judge and afterwards they will go out with a great wealth.

(The Matzos are covered and the second cup of wine is lifted and the following is recited.)

It is this (promise) that has maintained our ancestors and us. That not only one has risen against us, to destroy us, but in every generation they rise up to destroy us, but The Holy One, Blessed Be He, saves us from their hands. (Liturgy of the Pesach Haggada)

Each paragraph of the Haggada is packed with lessons for all time. There are hundreds of powerful and profound themes buried in that classic teacher's manual we call the Haggada. To focus in briefly on one and only one, we might ponder the import of the quote above and the relevance of its message to the Jewish People for all time on Pesach night.

And elder Chassidic Rebbe, after having emigrated to the Land of Israel, was asked by a group of devotees how he liked living in the Holy Land of Israel. It was around Pesach time, and he told his students, "I love living in the Land of Israel. The culture is a little different and takes some getting used to, but they have one phrase that I like very much. Everyone says it- 'Ha Kol B'Seder'-"Everything is in-order!"

Of course when the man in the streets uses this expression he means, "The check is in the mail...Cool your heels...Back off Jack...etc." When the Rebbe heard it with his loving heart, he understood the meaning beyond its narrow context. "HaKol B'Seder"...Everything is in the Seder. The whole of Jewish history and destiny intersect in the Seder on Pesach night.

The Haggada is like a giant mirror, not just a history book. When we look at the near images, in a mirror we see ourselves. However, if we can get beyond ourselves, and look to the farthest point on the horizon, there we can gain a clear picture of what is actually projected ahead of us.

Perhaps that's why on this sacred of all nights, loyal Jews, all over the world, separately and together, look back to the roots of our common ancestry. In doing so, we draw up through the xylem and phylum of history all the great blessings and promises which have been the glue of our existence. Simultaneously we attach ourselves to that great and noble tree that has weathered and outlasted the cruel storms that shake its leaves and break its branches in every generation.

By looking deeply into the mirror of the past we invite the blessings of all time wash over us, in the present, and propel us into a future-spec. as we declare resolutely at the conclusion of the Seder (Order) and sing in unison, "Next Year in Jerusalem!" In that sense, we can maybe understand, that "everything is in the Seder". The required energy and vision for surviving and progressing toward our common destiny is to be mined out peculiarly on that sacred night, at the Pesach Seder-Hakol B'Seder!

Perhaps one more layer of meaning in the Rebbe's over-understanding of the phrase, "HaKol B'Seder" may leave us with a theme we can latch onto and keep as a souvenir from the Pesach Seder. "HaKol B'Seder"-"Everything is in-order!" Hashem "calculated the end". The exile and exodus are part of a grand recipe.

What looks chaotic from ground level can be put to music when seen through a satellite's lens. When we step back from our myopic perspective and catch the grand sweep of a hundred generations, as on Pesach night, deep patterns of purpose begin to emerge. We are capable of gaining thereby the confidence and the courage to continue investing in a Jewish future simply because we understand clearly not to panic or despair because-"Hakol B'Seder!"

Good Shabbos!


Text Copyright © 2002 Rabbi Label Lam and Project Genesis, Inc.



 

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