March 31, 2020 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #1845449
Opening the Door to Salvation: e-mail address removed
ולקחתם אגדת אזוב וטבלתם בדם אשר בסף והגעתם אל המשקוף ואל שתי המזוזת מן הדם אשר בסף ואתם לא תצאו איש מפתח ביתו עד בקר
Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and to the two doorposts. None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning (Shemos 12:22).
During the Pesach Seder, we recreate the events that occurred to our ancestors in Egypt, including the dichotomy of Exodus night – the transition from slavery to freedom. One notable difference in our reenactment is that in Egypt we stayed in our homes, presumably with the doors closed; however, during the Seder, we make a point of opening the door near the Seder’s end, before reciting Shefoch Chamascha – when we ask Hashem to pour His fury upon the nations who have tried to destroy the Jews.
Why is our opening of the door at this juncture not antithetical to the thrust of the Seder, namely the reliving of past events? What purpose does it serve?
We know that Klal Yisrael as a whole was not worthy of redemption from Egypt, nor were the firstborn worthy of salvation during Makkas Bechoros. We see from the Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 15:4) and from the Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 11a) that the Jews were redeemed due to the merit of the Avos and Imahos. The Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 17:3) proves to us that the firstborn did not have enough of their own merit in order to be spared, and also had to rely on the Patriarchs. Additionally, the Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 15:3) brings proof that the redemption was in the merit of Moshe and Aharon.
When Lot and his family were saved from Sodom, they were told, “Al tabit acharecha – Do not look behind you” (Bereishis 19:17). Rashi tells us that since they had sinned along with the people of Sodom, and were only saved in the merit of Avraham, they did not deserve to see the punishment of Sodom while being saved.
The Pardeis Yosef (Vol.I, 6:16) uses this principle to fashion a correlation between two well-known comments of Rashi in Parashas Noach. The pasuk tells us that Noach was a righteous man “be’dorosav – in his generations” (Bereishis 6:9). Based on this, Rashi gives us two opposing views regarding Noach. Some opinions give a favorable interpretation; if he was a tzaddik in a generation where there was so much evil, how great would he have been in a generation filled with righteous people. Others, however, explain it in a derogatory manner. Noach was only a tzaddik when compared to the wicked people of his time. Had he lived in the days of Avraham, he would not have been considered anything special.
When Noach built the teivah, he made a tzohar, a light (ibid. V.16). Rashi gives two meanings for the word tzohar. Some say it was a window, and some say it was a precious stone, which gave them light.
If you say that Noach was a true tzaddik (which is the first opinion in the first Rashi cited), and was, therefore, saved in his own zechus, then it stands to reason that there was a window of some sort in the teivah (which would follow the first opinion in the second Rashi), as Noach deserved to be saved and would be able to watch while the outside world was destroyed.
But if you say that he was a tzaddik only when compared to his generation (according to the second opinion in the first Rashi), and was only saved in the zechus of others, then it is reasonable to assume that he should not see what was occurring outside and thus needed an internal light source (which would follow the second opinion in the second Rashi).
The Zohar (Cheilek I, p.107b) lists three instances where people were told to steer clear of viewing the Middas HaDin in progress: Noach in the teivah during the mabul; Lot and his family during the destruction of Sodom, when they were told not to look back; and the Yidden in Mitzrayim, when they were told not to leave their homes.
From the words of the Zohar, it seems clear that the requirement of staying indoors and not going outside is related to the principle of not seeing Middas HaDin as it is exacted, when one is unworthy of salvation in his own zechus.
The flow of the pasuk wherein Moshe added a restriction of going outdoors is now clear. “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and to the two doorposts. None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.”
The blood on the lintel and doorposts was a reminder to Hashem of the merit of the Avos (along with the merit of the Yidden from the blood of the korban Pesach and bris milah) as per one of the Midrashim mentioned above (Shemos Rabbah: 17:3): “Place the blood on the lintel, in the merit of Avraham, and on the two doorposts, in the merit of Yitzchak and Yaakov. In their zechus, Hashem will see the blood and not give free rein to the Destroyer…”
For this reason, the Jews were instructed, “Do not leave your doorway.” If they were not worthy by their zechus alone, they were not allowed to witness what should have happened to them, as well.
With this in mind, the opening of the door at our Seder prior to saying Shefoch Chamascha takes on a beautiful new meaning. In Egypt, where we were unworthy, we had to stay indoors and were not allowed to witness the death of the firstborn.
But when saying Shefoch Chamascha – where we pray for the ultimate day of reckoning, and a time when there will be an outpouring of the wrath of Hashem against our enemies – we open the door. This echoes our hope and prayer that at the time of the geulah sheleimah, the complete redemption (which is heralded by Eliyahu HaNavi, whom we welcome at that time), we will be able to have our door open. In Egypt, we stayed inside since our firstborn should have died, but now we anticipate being worthy of salvation on our own merit. Accordingly, we will have no problem opening the door and seeing the wrath of Hashem in progress.
This hope is borne out from the pasuk itself. “None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.” Writes the Sfas Emes (Pesach 5636), morning signifies the redemption; at morning, with the breaking of dawn and our ultimate redemption after the extended darkness of galus, we will be able to witness the death of our adversaries.
David HaMelech said, “Hashem li be’ozrai va’ani ereh ve’sonai – Hashem is with me through my helpers; therefore I can face my foes” (Tehillim 118:7). According to the above interpretation, we can explain this pasuk as follows: “Hashem li be’ozrai – When I am the one who helps myself, and the merit of my salvation is my own;” then, “va’ani ereh be’sonai – I am able to see my enemies.”April 1, 2020 4:43 pm at 4:43 pm #1845818Reb EliezerParticipant
They say that Lot’s wife could not look back as she was saved together with Lot in the zechus of Avraham and not in their own zechus.April 1, 2020 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #1845954
Yes. While not mentioning her specifically I cited above the Zohar regarding Lots family. The reason is as y ou wroteApril 1, 2020 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #1846002avreichamshlomoParticipant
aviaviavi, amazing post, very nice!April 1, 2020 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #1846028
not showing off but you might enjoy the other pesach verter i posted under aviaviavi avraham bukspan
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.