Avoda of Nissan

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By: Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

Bnei Yisroel were redeemed from Mitzrayim on Pesach. The Ramban, in his psicha for Chumash Shemos, says that galus will not end until Bnei Yisroel return to their place and to the maalos of their avos (forefathers.) When Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim, they left the house of slavery, but they were still considered in galus because they were in the midbar and not in their own land. When they arrived at Har Sinai and made the mishkon, they reached the maaleh of the avos. Only through the defeat of the yetzer hora will they reach true cheirus.”

This is the milchama that is brought down in Chovos Halevavos in Shaar Yichud Hamaaseh, Perek Heh. He recounts a story of a chassid who met an army returning from winning a war on the battlefront. The army had conquered a tough enemy and gained spoils of the war. The chassid told them, “You just returned from winning the small war. Now you need to prepare yourself to win the big war, which is the milchama of the yetzer hora.” We will be zoche to Eretz Yisroel only when we beat the yetzer hora. It is important for us to realize that it is not kochi ve’otzem yadi” that provides for our success. Eretz Yisroel is called the land of Israel not because it is a name of a place, but rather because of the people living there. Klal Yisroel are mashpia on the place and not that the place is mashpia on Klal Yisroel.

We mentioned before that part of redemption is that Klal Yisroel needs to reach the maaleh of the avos.” To help us understand this we will explain why Avrohom Avinu was called Avrohom “Ha’ivri.” The Midrash Rabba explains that the reason he was called Ivri was because the whole world was on one side and he was on the other side. Avrohom Avinu was the only person who believed in Hashem during his time. His belief did not waver even though he was alone in that belief. This is what true emuna is all about. We see similar language used when Yona responded to the question about who he was. He answered by saying, Ivri anochi.” We must realize that strengthening our emunah in Hashem is the work that needs to be done during the month of Nissan in order to arrive at true cheirus.

Reb Yehuda would say the ten makkos in the code detzach adash be’achav” to help remember them because the makkos are so integral to our emunah. The ten makkos correspond to the ten maamoros with which Hashem created the world. They also correspond to the Aseres Hadibros, the foundation of our faith. The makkos were set in place to counteract Pharaoh’s proclamation of li yeori vaani asisini”(the river is mine I created it.) We need to constantly remember that everything is provided byHashem and from Hashem.

May we be zocheh to the true cheirus by the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days!

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