Rav Brazil On the Parsha: Shabbos Hagadol


rav-shmuel-brazil-1By Rav Shmuel Brazil
The Ari Hakodosh said that if the exodus of Am Yisrael would have delayed from Mitzrayim even for a very short period of time, they would have sunken into the 50th level of tumah which would have made it impossible to leave. The Rebbe Leibel Aiger explains the Ari’s pshat as following: It should not be understood that if they have fell into the 50th level they would never again have the opportunity to leave. Rather, its interpretation is they would not have been able to leave together with the pinteleh Yid of our holy avos inside of him. That would have been lost in the 50th level. However, if they indeed would have sunk so low then it would have been necessary to recreate them and then redeem them but this time without the avos. Our history as a nation up until that point would have been deleted and wiped out. It would have begun from Yetzias Mitzrayim without the DNA input and influence from Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov, but redeemed we would have been either way. The reason why Hashem hurried Yisrael out of Mitzrayim was in order to save the avos that were deeply embedded within each and every Yid.

From this insight, we can now understand that the geulah from Mitzrayim was twofold: one for us and one for our avos hakdoshim. This is what is meant in the hagaddah when we say וכל המרבה לספר ביציאת מצרים הרי זה משובח . What is the extra letter bais accomplishing in front of the word יציאת? The text should have read וכל המרבה לספר יציאת מצרים? However according to our new understanding we can say that one has to talk about the two exoduses from Mitzrayim , one for ourselves and the other for our avos hakdoshim Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov. Rav Avraham Schorr expresses this identical idea in the the passuk מצה על שום מה על שלא הספיק בצקם של אבותינו להחמיץ The “baziak” which literally means dough, refers to the nekudah of the avos within every Yid. [Adam Harishon was formed as a dough as Rashi describes on the passuk ואד יעלה מן הארץ and we know that the three avos were the second edition and fixing of Adam, so they too are also described as dough. We can add to say that the letters “baztzaik” is also the vowel of “kubutz” which has three dots downwards on a slant. This is to indicate the three avos with their zechusim will bring about the “kibutz” galiyos -בצק קבץ קיבוץ The batzaik of Adam rose like chameitz in contrast to the batzaik of the avos which remained low and humble like matzah]. The passuk is relating that Hashem quickly took the Yidden out of Mitzrayim so their dough, the influence of the avos within them, would not become chametz meaning totally affected by becoming extinct.

Now we can appreciate the custom to have specifically three matzos during the Seder. They are there in order to hint to the fact that we left Mitrayim not as a new creation but rather with the original entire history of our avos hakedoshim Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov. The nusach we say during the hagaddah in the bircas hageulah אשר גאלנו וגאל את אבותינו ממצרים now becomes clearer and deeper. אבותינו refers to more than just our ancestors back then. It refers to the avos mamesh informing us that they too were redeemed from Mitrayim and remained part of every Yid for eternity.

Our Chazal say that when the Yidden were commanded to place the blood of the karban pesach on the lintel and doorposts of their homes, it symbolized the three avos. According to our interpretation it means that they too as us were to be redeemed from Miztrayim. Hashem promises Yaakov not to be afraid to go down to Mitzrayim for He will go down with him and He will also take take him out from Mitzrayim. But wasn’t Yaakov already dead and was not able to be taken out? Here again the answer is that Yaakov as a component of the pinteleh Yid was promised to be taken out with his great grandchildren.

The Afikomen is the last food that one is allowed to eat at the Seder so that the taste of the Afikomon would remain in one’s mouth [Pesachim 119]. The Afikomon symbolizes this essential DNA of the Avos. In the seder of the hagadah its siman is tzafoon which means hidden referring to this hidden bastion of emunah that we inherited from the avos. The vessels of Klal Yisrael are the avos. The word Afikomon means bring out the vessels [apik – take out, manah – vessels] Part and parcel of the seder on the night of the 15th is to realize the geulah of our avos together with our own geulah. The taste of the Afikomon must remain to symbolize that the Avos and their influence will eternally remain in Klal Yisrael thanks to Hashem who quickened our redemption.

So when we sit at the Seder table we must think how it could have been without the inherited history of our holy incredible avos. We would be void without Avraham’s unwavering emunah that got him thrown into the furnace, his departure from his parents and homeland as a demonstration of deep emunah, and no colossal zechus of Akaidas Yizchak. Just imagine being without Yitzchak’s allowing himself to be sacrificed by saying to his father please tie me down tight so I don’t flinch and passul the kroban, and his yiras shamayim that was incredible. Ponder the thought that we would be missing Yaakov’s dream of the sulam, his intense learning for 14 yrs in the Beis Medrash of Shem, his עם לבן גרתי ותרי”ג מצוות שמרתי his impeccable righteous work ethics while working for a cheat and sinister Lavan, and Yaakov’s benching of each shevet according to his uniqueness and qualities.

Only because of Hashem’s love of Klal Yisrael and the Avos, He hurried to make an earlier exodus for our behalf in order to preserve these precious kailim of the Jewish nation. Even if the Yid feels he is broken and fragmented due to his weak spiritual state as symbolized by the Afikomen matzah, [yachatz] he must realize that his kailim [avos] never left him and he never has to start from scratch. Afikomon is the time to realize that no matter what matzav a yid finds himself in, on the night of the seder it is revealed that he has kailim to take out and that he should realize that he is the lucky enriched recipient of a mesorah so exquisite and a Hashem that is so loving, that it is really easier than he thought to make an about face and return to his creator. This is the connection of geulah litfillah: to connect the ending beracha of Shema [gaal yisrael] with the beginning of shemona esrai without interruption. The message is that since there was a geulah from Mitzrayim therefore today we can still say and acknowledge אלקינו ואלקי אבותינו אלקי אברהם אלקי יצחק ואלקי יעקב.

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