Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Pesach

The hold of the holiday of Pesach on the people of Israel is one of the remarkable historical facts of our people. After all over thirty three hundred years have passed since the Exodus from Egypt. Throughout human history, great events have been forgotten, simply because of the passage of time and the remoteness of that event from current society. Even those historical dates that are yet remembered - July 4, Bastille Day, most other national holidays - have been transformed by time and society into less of a commemoration and remembrance than of being merely a day of leisure and no work. All of this certainly points out the uniqueness of Pesach and its continued influence and meaning in Jewish life and amongst all types of Jews.

Without delving into the supernatural qualities of God's commandment to us to observe Pesach, I think it is clear to all that it is the ritual aspects of Pesach that has preserved the importance and intensity of the holiday so well. It is the matzo and the maror, the seder and the hagadah, the change of diet and habit, that have so emblazoned Pesach on the Jewish psyche. We can all recall events and make stirring speeches about their importance. But the next generation will remain apathetic about those very events that so inspired and influenced their parents. It is no secret that in much of the Jewish world, the Holocaust, the creation and existence of the State of Israel, and the cause of oppressed Jews in the less than free world, have all lost much of their resonance and hold on Jews. The reason for this is that there is no ritual, no halachic framework, if you will, attached to these events. And thus they are at risk of drifting away in the sands of past events and no longer remaining vital and important in the lives and attitudes of coming Jewish generations.

This should set us to think about the importance of ritual in our religious and daily life. The secular humanists of the nineteenth century and their followers in the Jewish world attempted to create an idealistic and permanent Jewish life based on the abolition of ritual and the centrality of humanistic values. After two centuries, it is clear that this attempt to ennoble mankind and/or Jews has failed. The basic conclusion that if one does not eat matzo on Pesach, one's grandchildren will eventually forget Pesach altogether has been proven, sadly and beyond doubt. For its is only through the observance of ritual, through teaching behavior and not merely lofty sounding philosophical ideals, that the data bank of Jewish memory is transferred from one generation to the next. That is the most important lesson of Pesach to our generation that yearns for God and has somehow lost its way to find our Creator.

Chag Kasher v'Sameach.

Rabbi Berel Wein


Text Copyright © 2000 Rabbi Berel Wein and Project Genesis, Inc.



 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

That's Chanukah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Nurture the Yaakov Avinu Within Ourselves
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Chanukah and Mechiras Yosef: The Hidden Connection
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Enlightening the Present From the Past
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Majesty Resides Within!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

> Caught Not Taught
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Leaving Ya'akov for Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Time Study
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Leaving Ya’akov For Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

In All Honesty
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

The Kedusha of Galus - Thinking in Parallel
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5765

ArtScroll

The Challenges Ahead
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

How Yosef Got His Job
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Respect of the Sanctuary: On Sacred Ground
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Yosef Recognizes His Brothers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773



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