Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Pesach

Taking It Personally

By Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden

Pesach (Passover) is filled with opportunities to renew and fortify our relationship with G-d. The Torah has sixteen mitzvos (Divine commandments) to perform throughout this holiday and the oral Torah includes hundreds of details clarifying these commandments. The primary purpose of all these observances is to relive the miracles that took place during our Exodus from Egypt. Secondarily, as fulfilling these charges makes the events of 3316 years ago real to us, we are aroused within with feelings of freedom. Since all of these commandments operate within the same framework, why does G-d instruct us to do all of them? Could we not remember the Exodus and teach it to our children with just one of these commandments?

Sefer Hachinuch (1) elaborates this mitzvah utilizing a concept foundational to the study of Torah and the observance of the commandments. A person's heart and mind always follow his actions, whether they are good or bad. And actions are much more easily and readily consciously regulated than thoughts and feelings. The most evil person who pushes himself to do acts of kindness - even if he does not feel love or motivation to do chesed in his heart - will, slowly over time, change into being a kind person. One can also train himself in the opposite as well. A righteous person forced into doing evil acts will find his mind follows and he turns to being evil.

The Pesach Hagada narrative informs us, "A person is obligated to see himself as though he himself came out of Egypt." It is not enough to simply remember and discuss the events; we need to feel elated with the genuine feeling of freedom as though we are being rescued right now. How do we, so many years later, especially those of us living in the Diaspora, relate to the feeling of emancipation from slavery? The wealth of mitzvos that contain opportunities to relive the experiences and experience the emotions enable us to transform Pesach. The Exodus will not longer be merely an event of the past, but a living experience in the present that will metamorphose our future.

Have a Chag Kosher v'Samayach.

(1) The Book of Mitzvah Education, mitzvah 16


Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of the Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 414-447-7999


 

ARTICLES ON NASO AND SHAVUOS:

View Complete List

The "Two Breads"
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

What We See is What We Get
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Domestic Harmony and National Peace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

ArtScroll

Nicknames for the Torah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Small Talk
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Limiting the Wine
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

> A New Found Freedom
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Blessings from Zion
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Not Just a History Lesson
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

To Acquire Eternal Reward through Happiness
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

The Heart Really Matters
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

From the Depths of the Heart
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Connection Between The Chapters of Sotah and Nazir
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

The Path to Pleasure
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Messiah, Can I Keep My Rolls?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

To Drink or Not to Drink?
Shlomo Katz - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information