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 YOM KIPPUR:

View Complete List

Time to Return
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Merits, Middles and Majorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5764

Teshuvah: Changes
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

Looking for a Chavrusah?

I am a Work in Progress
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Yom Kippur and the Pathways to Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Commandment of Confession
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

> Our Next Big Move!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Return... to Where?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Saying Is Believing
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

ArtScroll

Growing Through the Holidays: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkos
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

On A Personal Note
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Yom Kippur - Getting In Touch With Ourselves
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Right Fit
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Are We A Role Model for the World?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5764

The Taste of Repentance
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Repentance: A Story
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757



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